Ashfield council tax hike a step closer as cabinet defends planned rise

Ashfield Council’s leader has defended the authority’s plan to increase council tax by the maximum amount and says it is ‘imperative’ the council can provide a stable budget.

By Andrew Topping
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 5:24 pm

The Ashfield Independent-led authority is proposing a £5 rise for band D properties, which works out at about £3.33 for band A homes.

The rise, if approved by the full council next week, would take the authority’s average taking from a band D home up to £195.46.

This would be the highest rate of council tax for all of the seven district authorities in Nottinghamshire.

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Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader.

However, Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, claims over the four years he has been in charge, residents have been ‘protected in the pocket’.

He told a council cabinet meeting his administration froze council tax for the previous two financial years, which he says has saved residents in band D homes £10 over the past 24 months.

He said: “The crucial thing to note about the banding differences in Ashfield is the amount we collect as an authority.

“Even though our council tax is pitched at this point, we collect the third-lowest amount of council tax – because of our lower banding – of all councils in Nottinghamshire.

“Newark & Sherwood takes nearly £1 million a year more than Ashfield in from their council tax bills.

“We’ve protected residents in the pocket as much as possible but, given we want to keep providing our services, it’s imperative we have a stable financial position.”

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Balanced

Coun David Martin, cabinet member for finance, said the decision is ‘tough to take’, but responsible to ensure the council has a balanced budget.

He said: “This has been a very tough decision to take given the rising levels of inflation nationally.

“However, we believe it is the responsible thing to do.

“The council is subject to the same inflation pressures as residents, so without this small increase, continued delivery of some of our valued services would not be possible.

“For [Band D] residents this is a £5 annual increase, which equates to about 7p per week, but generates £170,000 to help sustain delivery of our services.”

The authority’s plans will go before the full council meeting on March 3 as part of the wider budget.

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