Bigger than expected council tax rise set to be approved

PUBLISHED: 06:29 06 February 2018

Cllr Nigel Ashton has been critical of the Government for cutting funding.

Cllr Nigel Ashton has been critical of the Government for cutting funding.

Archant

Households will have to fork out more for council tax from April under proposals outlined this week.

A rise in tax was expected but North Somerset Council wants to push through a greater increase than anticipated as it seeks to save millions of pounds.

Bills are set to rise by about six per cent, in part due to a three per cent levy being planned to help fund rising social care costs incurred by the council.

North Somerset was also planning to raise its tax by 1.99 per cent, but instead is looking at a 2.99 per cent rise after the Government agreed to increase the maximum threshold councils could increase bills by.

The idea is due to be ratified by the council’s executive this afternoon (Tuesday), but it will also require a full council vote later in the month.

People living in an average band D property can expect to see their contribution to the council rise by about £70 per year, if the tax increase is approved.

Bills however will likely rise by more than that with many parish and town councils, plus the emergency services, increasing their precepts which are also collected through council tax.

Council leader Nigel Ashton has blamed funding cuts from the Government for the tough decisions.

Speaking in January, he said: “With such significant levels of savings achieved over successive years, there are no easy or comfortable decisions ahead of us.

“None of us entered public office to cut much-valued public services, but as nationally the Government still fails to recognise the importance of tackling the issues associated with an increasingly ageing population, our choices are limited.

“Given the choice between funding road repairs and increasing charges for parking, or making sure our vulnerable older people get the care they need, then people will always come first.”

With about £10million in savings needed next year, changes are also required for some services to cut costs.

The council plans to ‘reconfigure’ Long Ashton children’s centre and extending its oversubscribed nursery.

Yatton’s and Pill’s centres moved into their village library last summer but further changes are planned.

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