Council Tax increase remains low
An increase of 2.99 per cent on the Borough Council’s share of Council Tax has been agreed.
The rise means homes in Council Tax Bands A, B and C will have weekly increases of seven, nine and 10 pence respectively. These bands represent more than 70 per cent of all homes in the borough.
For these households the annual increase in what they pay the Borough Council for the services it provides is £3.43 for Band A, £3.98 for Band B and £4.54 for Band C.
A Band D property will pay the Borough Council £196.14 in 2019/20 which is an increase of £5.69 on the current year.
Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “In the Council Plan we have been bold in laying out our aspirations to boost growth in the borough. Our fully-costed and achievable plans for the future will benefit both our communities and our businesses.
“Part of the budget includes £304,000 for a Borough Growth Fund so we can invest in our priorities. This is a deliberate attempt to move away from the salami slicing budgets of the past and allow us to focus on the important things that matter to our communities such as the market, our town centres and improving council services."
Cllr. Stephen Sweeney, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “The decision to raise our share of Council Tax bills has not been taken lightly.
“We have carried out two consultations and listened to what residents have said about where they want us to focus our actions. The Borough Growth Fund will support that strategy.
“We are confident that our plans will impact positively on the borough and its communities.”
The Borough Council precept makes up only one part of the overall bill to households.
Staffordshire County Council is raising its precept by 2.95 per cent to £1,246.23 for an average Band D property, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service by 2.99 per cent to £75.73.
The Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner is raising its precept by 12 per cent to £216.46.
Added together an average Band D property in the borough - which does not have a town or parish council - will pay £1,734.66 from 1 April. If where you live does have a parish/town council then whatever they require will be added to the amount above.
In the next 12 months a “budget gap” of £2,220,000 will face the Borough Council. Factors contributing to this are: a reduction in direct Government funding (£526k); a revised New Homes Bonus Scheme (£519k); staff-related costs such as superannuation increases (£335k) as well as pay awards and NI contributions (£326k).
There will also be a reduction in waste income and recycling credits and a reduction in Council Tax and Housing Benefit administration grants.
The Council has set out savings and efficiencies totalling £2,468,000: £500,000 in sources of income generation and an increased demand for ‘chargeable’ services; £442,000 from good house-keeping efficiencies; £410,000 from staff-related efficiencies and £1,116,000 from New Homes Bonus funding, savings from negotiated contribution rates and advanced payments of staff-related costs such as superannuation contributions.
The Council will receive £56,000 additional funding from the distribution of the surplus on the national Business Rates Retention levy account. This will be added to the £248,000 in additional savings and efficiencies to make up the Borough Growth Fund.
During the last ten years the Borough Council has bridged budget “gaps” of £22, 456,000. The Medium Term Financial Strategy states that in the coming four years a further £2,980,000 will have to be found.
Over the next three financial years Capital projects, linked directly to corporate priorities, will account for around £19 million. This will include housing improvements, vehicle replacement and enhancements to council owned properties such as the museum and Jubilee2.
Last updated 21 February 2019