Tag Archives: Council Tax

Have Your Say On Council Tax Support In Cotswold District

Each year the District Council has to decide whether to make changes to the administration of its council tax support scheme for working age people on a low income in the Cotswolds. This year we are consulting on possible changes to the scheme from 1 April 2019 which would completely exempt our poorest residents from Council Tax payments. In other words, the maximum amount of Council Tax discount will now be100%.

Changes being proposed include:

  • Introducing a banded scheme which would see a simple flat rate percentage discount awarded, depending on a person’s total weekly ‘net’ income
  • For the purposes of calculating weekly income, the Council would ignore all child maintenance payments

Changes proposed will have no impact for those in vulnerable groups or those in receipt of a state pensions.

Comment now on changes to our Council Tax payments – see https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XX32B2P
The deadline for comments is midnight on Friday 9 November.

Since 2013/14 the funding received from central government to support the local working age scheme has continued to reduce in line with other central funding cuts and is expected to continue to reduce over the coming year. The Council Tax Reduction Scheme was introduced in April 2013, replacing Council Tax benefits and is part of the Government’s major overhaul of the welfare system.

Following this round of consultation, CDC councillors will consider a report before deciding on any changes to the current scheme.

Via press release from Cotswold District Council, 24 September 2018

Cotswold District Freezes Council Tax For 2018-19

Members of Cotswold District Council have today agreed a freeze on the authority’s share of local residents’ council tax payments for 2018/19, following a freeze for 2017/18 and 2016/17, a 5% cut in 2015/16, a 3% cut in 2014/15 and a 5% reduction in 2013/14. This means that the average band D charge for District services will remain at £126.40.

Taking into account the freeze for 2018/19, the actual amount being charged for a Band D council tax payer – without cutting frontline services – has been reduced by £17.98 per year (12%) over a period stretching back to 2010/11. Even more significantly, the £126.40 charge is on a par with what residents were paying back in 2005 and, taking the average annual inflation rate into account, represents a real terms reduction of about 45%, saving tax payers about £50 per year.

This is the 21st lowest district council charge in the country and represents a rise from 63rd in the ratings just a few years ago.

The Council also agreed the following:

  • Continuation of the freeze on parking charges at all CDC-owned car parks.
  • Continuation of the freeze on the cost of garden waste licences.
  • Extension of the ‘free after 3 pm’ parking scheme until the end of March 2019 at selected car parks across the district, including in Bourton-on-the-Water, Cirencester, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Tetbury.
  • An initial allocation of up to £300,000 to extend the network of Electronic Vehicle Charging Points in the Cotswolds.
  • Each Ward Member will receive an allocation of £1,000 to help fund local youth activities.
  • No cuts to frontline services.

CDC Deputy Leader Cllr Nick Parsons commented: “Nearly all the local authorities in the UK are increasing their share of the council tax bill, but I am delighted to say that we can maintain our price freeze in the Cotswolds. I am sure that residents will be very pleased to hear this news.

“Those working on behalf of the Council are always mindful of the need to keep our costs down, and I am extremely grateful for the efforts of the CDC staff as they continue to innovate and find savings without any detriment to our services. Working with partner councils, we are on target to share in collective savings of £5.6 million per year by 2020 –these savings are vital to ensure that we can continue to provide excellent value for money.”

Via press release from Cotswold District Council on 20 February.

GCC: Why Your Council Tax is Going Up This Year

Via press release from Gloucestershire County Council on 23rd January:

The council tax in Gloucestershire is set to rise 2.49 per cent in 2018-19 with the average band D household paying an extra £52.95p per year.

But the county council says the increase is below Government guidelines – it includes £27.9 million for business support. The total council budget is now £412.9 million.

Over 1,700 comments were made by local people when the county council asked for feedback on next year’s draft budget.
Seventy four per cent of people agreed with the overall draft budget. Eighty-nine per cent of people agreed that protecting the most vulnerable people in our county was important to them.

As a result, the council is now proposing an extra £5 million, bringing the total additional investment to £16.3 million to help the most vulnerable children and young people in the county, funding more social workers, as well as services like foster care and adoptions. £30m of capital funding is also included to pay for a new secondary school in Cheltenham.

The authority says councils continue to face pressure on social care with more and more people requiring support later in life. The government is allowing councils to increase the adults social care levy they collect to pay for things like social and residential care.
The council says it remains committed to £150 million investment in highways, and the budget also includes £2.74 million to support Highways England’s safety improvements to the A417, plus continuing the Local Highways Scheme which will provide £10,000 for every county councillor to spend on improving highways in their area.

A new Growing Our Communities Fund will also offer £30,000 over three years for each county councillor, allowing more flexibility to spend money where it is needed.

Since the draft budget was published, the government has also allowed councils to increase council tax by up to 3 per cent without a referendum. However, mindful of the burden council tax can place on Gloucestershire families, the council says it is only proposing a 2.49 per cent increase, in addition to the two per cent Adult Social Care Levy – 0.5 per cent more than the draft budget.

This means for an average band D household the proposed total increase would be £52.95 per year or £4.41 per month. Gloucestershire currently charges £46 per year less in council tax than the average county council, including the levy and £173 per year less in council tax than the highest charging council.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback. We have listened and made some difficult decisions. Government gave us the green light to increase general council tax by up to 3 per cent this year without a referendum. By staying well below that limit — 2.49 per cent — We have tried to find a balance that provides enough investment to protect our most vulnerable people, but also limits the financial impact on our hard working communities.”

The updated budget proposals for 2018/19 are:

  • Adult services – £133.172 million (incl. help for people with learning disabilities, older people, vulnerable adults)
  • Children & Families – £102.924 million (incl. schools, children’s services, prevention & wellbeing)
  • Communities & Infrastructure – £79.896 million (incl. highways, libraries, trading standard, fire & rescue, waste)
  • Public health – £24.271million (ring fenced grant)

The balance covers £27.917 million for business support and £44.720 million of technical and corporate (including cost of funding infrastructure investment) – a reduction of £12.867 million compared to 17/18 budget.

If approved at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, the budget is subject to a final decision at full council on 14th February.
Both meetings can be watched live at www.gloucestershire.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.