COTSWOLD District Council has announced it is cutting its share of residents’ Council Tax payments by three per cent.

The decision, made today (Thursday) at the annual budget setting meeting, follows last year's five per cent reduction which was hailed the biggest in the country.

Councillor Lynden Stowe, council leader, said along with the cut in council tax, there would be no increase in car parking charges, leisure fees and green waste collection charges until at least 2016.

These reductions have gone ahead despite a 50 per cent reduction in core government grants over the last four years.

“We hit the headlines last year when we undercut every other local authority with our five per cent reduction in Council Tax and I think our three per cent reduction for 2014-15 will probably be the joint biggest cut in the country this time around," said Cllr Stowe.

“Residents across the Cotswolds can be assured we are committed to obtaining the best value for money possible, thanks to a range of cost-saving measures, most notably our joint working with West Oxfordshire District Council which will soon include the integration of our senior management teams.

"We have developed many shared services with West Oxfordshire, and other councils, over the years and, by 2017/18, joint working is expected to save the council £1.5million per annum.

“We are also very pleased to see that the decision to transfer the running of three leisure centres and the Corinium Museum to SLM is delivering significant savings.

“All of these measures, and other cost-saving initiatives in the pipeline, will enable us to guarantee a freeze on charges for Council Tax, car parking, leisure fees and green waste collection until at least