Householders set to pay more in council tax after five-year freeze of bills

January 31 2016

COUNCIL tax rates in South Gloucestershire look set to rise by 3.99 per cent after five years of being frozen.

COUNCIL tax rates in South Gloucestershire look set to rise by 3.99 per cent after five years of being frozen.
The increase includes a 1.99 per cent rise towards general council services, with the rest to be levied under new powers to be spent on the increasing cost of adult social care.
Such an increase will result in the South Gloucestershire Council element of the council tax bill for a band D property being set at £1,295.
Budget plans for the next financial year will be considered by the council’s policy and resources committee on February 1, with the draft budget then being formally recommended to the full council for consideration on February 17.
The revenue budget for 2016/17 is projected to be £183.4million – raised from sources such as council tax, business rates and grants from central government.
An extra £188.9 million is expected to be spent on schools in the district, to be fully funded by government grants.
The figures are based on the provisional financial settlement the council has received from Westminster, which is still subject to confirmation in early February.
Last year’s Revenue Budget and schools funding figures were £184.3million and £186.4million respectively.
But the council said funding from central government had fallen significantly for next year and the following three years and there was now a national presumption that council tax will be increased annually to help offset some of this fall.
Savings will also have to continue, despite the tax rise. From 2011-2015 the council saved nearly £45 million a year and by the end of 2015-16, it is expected to have cut £56 million.
Although in the next four years, the council has published a provisional savings programme of an extra £23 million a year, it said it was expecting to have to identify a further £8 million by the end of the decade.