At the meeting of full council last night (24 February), Huntingdonshire District Council approved its budget for 2016/17.

Cllr Jason Ablewhite, Executive Leader, said: "Unlike most other councils, once again we have frozen Council Tax for next year, and this will be the fourth consecutive year that Council Tax has been set at £133.18. Further, the council has approved a medium-term strategy that also freezes Council Tax until 2020/21."

Cllr Jonathan Gray, Executive Councillor for Resources, said: "The council has followed a robust budget setting process that ensures that every pound is accounted for. The government is reducing its support to local government by the removal of Revenue Support Grant by 2019/20; we met this challenge head-on last year ahead of the formal announcement. However, we now have gone even further in that we are aiming to be self-financing by 2020/21 as we will no longer rely on New Homes Bonus either. This is ambitious, but we believe that this is good news for the residents of Huntingdonshire."

Further service efficiencies are likely to be necessary and possibly additional income may need to be generated. However, the council has good sound plans in place to meet this challenge. We have introduced a number of initiatives in the face of austerity, such as our Customer Service Strategy, whilst maintaining value for money services.