Posts Tagged ‘council tax’

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South Glos council tax to rise by 4.99 percent

Posted on Monday 13th March 2017 at 8:20 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) element of the council tax levied on local residents is to increase by 4.99 percent from April and looks set to be followed by a similar above-inflation rise in 2018/19.

Meeting on 15th February, councillors agreed to set a revenue budget of £193.25 million, with the increase in the council-controlled element of council tax being made up of a 1.99 percent general increase plus a further 3 percent specifically ring fenced to adult social care to help meet the demographic and other service pressures.

A council spokesperson said the increase is designed to help protect council services as funding from central government is reduced. It means that the average charge for a Band D property for the SGC element of the total council tax bill will rise to £1,359.

Public consultation carried out by the council prior to the budget-setting process showed that 45 percent of respondents were in favour of a council tax rise for 2017/18 of 2 percent or more (inclusive of the adult social care element).

Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Councillor Matthew Riddle, said:

“As a council we are focussed on delivering services to meet the needs and priorities of all our residents and local businesses. I am pleased to say that we will continue to do that with this year’s budget.”

“While finances remain tight and we continue to look for ways to do everything we can as efficiently as we can, I am pleased that we are also able to invest and build for the future, particularly in school and transport infrastructure projects.”

“The council delivers a huge range of services to our whole community and while we are always under pressure to be ever more efficient, where savings have to be made, the priority remains to protect front line services wherever possible. Thanks to the continued and dedicated efforts of our staff, I believe that we are well placed to meet future challenges.”

More: Council faces a £9.2 million black hole, warns Labour leader »

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South Glos council tax to rise by 3.99 percent

Posted on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 at 10:41 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) element of the council tax levied on local residents is to increase by 3.99 percent from April and looks set to be followed by similar increases in each of the following three financial years.

Meeting on 17th February, councillors agreed to set a revenue budget of £185.2 million, with the increase in the council-controlled element of council tax being made up of a 1.99 percent general increase plus a further 2 percent specifically ring fenced to adult social care to help meet the demographic and other service pressures.

A council spokesperson said the increase is designed to help protect council services as funding from central government is reduced. It means that the average charge for a Band D property for the SGC element of the total council tax will rise to £1,295.

Public consultation carried out by the council prior to the budget-setting process showed that 68 percent of respondents were in favour of a council tax rise for 2016/17 of at least 2 percent.

More increases planned

A report presented to councillors showed indicative budget figures for 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 which assumed further increases in council tax of 3.99 percent in each of these years.

The agreed 2016/17 budget also includes details of an updated Council Savings Programme. Work to reduce ongoing council spending will have saved £56 million by the end of the current financial year and the new plans outlines a further £22 million of savings by 2019/20. These savings are needed to help the council deliver balanced budgets into the future as central government funding continues to be reduced.

The leader of council, Matthew Riddle, said:

“The budget the council has approved is a balance between the resources we have available and the services we provide as a council, which our residents and businesses rely upon.”

“This budget is a plan that we can deliver as a council and, where we need to make further savings, we will continue to consult with the community on potential changes.”

More: Total Bradley Stoke bill up 3.82 percent over last year »

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Town Councillors forced to abandon review of precept decision

Posted on Tuesday 5th February 2013 at 10:17 am by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Council.

A special meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council scheduled for this Wednesday (6th February) has been cancelled at short notice.

The meeting, which had been called by Town Mayor, Cllr Charlotte Walker, at the request of six Councillors, was to discuss a possible increase in the Town’s precept (the Town Council’s component of the Council Tax).

However, the Council has announced today that advice received from the National Association of Local Councils’ solicitor suggests that any decision to increase the precept, which Councillors had initially voted last month to freeze, would be illegal.

Confirming the cancellation, Cllr Walker said:

“Following legal clarification from the Town Clerk, acting in her capacity as council’s proper officer, we have taken the decision to stand down Wednesday’s special meeting of Full Council. In light of the advice received proceeding with the meeting would not be in the best interest of our residents.”

The original decision was taken at the Full Council meeting on 16th January, despite the Town Council’s Financial Officer recommending that a 3% increase be introduced for 2013/14.

The six Councillors who had called for a review of the decision to freeze the precept were: Cllrs Brian Hopkinson, Sarah Pomfret, Ben Walker, Paul Hardwick, Elaine Hardwick and Keith Cranney.

The special resolution that was to be debated at this Wednesday’s special meeting read:

“[We] wish to immediately revisit the decision made by BSTC on 16th January 2013 in relation to the Budget and Forward Plan, whereby we believe a zero increase in Precept would not deliver sufficient safeguard against the uncertain future of grant funding from South Gloucestershire Council.”

The Journal understands that, as the Town Council has already notified South Gloucestershire Council of its desired precept level for 2013/14, it is only possible to reduce it from that previously advised level.

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Town Councillors have second thoughts on tax freeze

Posted on Monday 28th January 2013 at 10:40 am by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Council.

Bradley Stoke Town Council could still increase its precept (share of the Council Tax) for 2013/14 after six Councillors called an emergency meeting to reconsider a decision, made only two weeks ago, to freeze it.

A Council press release put out on 17th January boasted of the precept being frozen “for a historic fourth year in a row” following a decision made at a Full Council meeting the night before but it seems that some Councillors have now had second thoughts.

Under its standing orders (constitution), the Council is not normally permitted to reverse a decision within six months of it being made, but the six Councillors have invoked a special clause that allows a review to take place if at least four Councillors support it.

The six that have called for a review are: Cllrs Brian Hopkinson, Sarah Pomfret, Ben Walker, Paul Hardwick, Elaine Hardwick and Keith Cranney.

The development is an embarrassing rebuff for former Mayor Cllr Robert Jones, who had argued strongly for a freeze at the Full Council meeting and was quoted in the press release as saying:

“Our residents are seeing their incomes eroded by inflation, increasing the precept now will only add to the squeeze.”

The special resolution to be debated at the emergency meeting on 6th February states:

“[We] wish to immediately revisit the decision made by BSTC on 16th January 2013 in relation to the Budget and Forward Plan, whereby we believe a zero increase in Precept would not deliver sufficient safeguard against the uncertain future of grant funding from South Gloucestershire Council.”

The decision to freeze the precept was taken despite the Town Council’s Financial Officer recommending that a 3% increase be introduced for 2013/14.

The Town Council’s finances have come under pressure because of a reduction in the theoretical number of properties used in the formula for calculating the precept. The change has come about as a consequence of the Government’s decision to hand responsibility for Council Tax Benefit to local authorities, while at the same time reducing support to 90% of the previous level. The loss of revenue to the Town Council will amount to £75,137 for 2013/14.

More: Town Council strips £8,400 from youth provision budget »

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