Ashfield District Council will consider a 2.93 per cent tax rise at its next Budget and Council Tax meeting on Monday, February 29.
In the second council tax rise since 2010, Band A Council Tax will increase by £3.33 per year, or approximately 6 pence per week, affecting just over half of house holds with a further 20 per cent paying 7 pence per week.
The decision is set in the context of the continued significant reduction in Government funding which is being suffered by Ashfield and many other district councils. Between 2010 and 2020, Government funding to Ashfield will reduce by 51%.
Council Leader Cllr Cheryl Butler said: “Once again the Council is facing a severe reduction in its funding from the Government.
“The system for making these cuts is inherently unfair, because councils in more affluent areas than Ashfield are less dependent on Government funding and can generate more Council Tax income. Areas more affluent than Ashfield have also received additional Transition Grant and Rural Services Grant since the original announcements in December, but there has been nothing extra for Ashfield.
“The Government has made many positive comments about this financial settlement, but there is nothing positive about your funding being cut in half.
“If the system was fair, we would not have to ask residents to pay more Council Tax, but regrettably, the Government has made it abundantly clear that district councils are not their priority. For those residents who struggle to pay their Council Tax, our Council Tax Support scheme remains one of the best in the country, and Labour in Ashfield will retain it for the next financial year.”
Between 2010 and 2016, Ashfield has already lost £4.5 million of Government funding. And yet Council Tax increases over the same period have generated just £263k to offset these losses.
Cllr. Butler stressed that the council is ‘not planning any cuts to front line services’ in 2016-17.
She added: “Under Ashfield Labour’s direction, this Council has been highly innovative and resilient over the last few years, and will continue to improve and develop its services, despite this setback. By being more efficient, looking at innovative and more commercial ways of working, we have, and will continue, to protect the services we know our residents value.”