A COUNCIL is giving residents more time to have their say over council tax rises in North Yorkshire.

The county council has been asking people to tell them what they think about potential council tax increases by filling in an online survey. The time limit has now been extended to January 20.

Council leader Councillor Carl Les said over the past decade the amount the council has to spend has gone down by 40p for every pound because of government cutbacks and an increase in the demand for services.

He added: "Every year we spend £255m on adult social care and public health, £107m on children and young people, £39m on highways and £50m on waste disposal. Forty-seven per cent of our £529m budget now comes from council tax to pay for these and many other vital services.

"With uncertainty around future funding and the wider economy, we need to decide whether we increase council tax and, if so, by how much. This is residents’ chance to influence our budget decisions. We want people to share their views on whether we should increase council tax and, if so, by how much. It is important people have their say and that we hear them.

"Executive members will meet on 4 February to make budget recommendations to the full council meeting later in the month."

By the end of this year, the council will have made savings of £172.9m over ten years. It still has to make an additional £24.8m of savings by the end of 2021/22.

They say their biggest spend on care has been increasing dramatically and will continue to increase in the future as the areas population gets older, with people living longer and needing more help.

The number of new referrals received every year has increased by almost 1,000 since 2015/16, with 17,603 referrals in 2018 for adult social care assessment and support. The county council is currently supporting 8,491 people.

Residents can take part in the budget consultation online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/yourservicesyoursay