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Council tax increase proposed in Rushcliffe

Residents in Rushcliffe could pay the borough council more than two per cent more council tax from April after the authority put forward plans for an increase.

The council is proposing an increase of 2.42 per cent on its portion of residents’ bills, which equates to £3.57 more for a Band D property or £2.38 for Band A homes.

District and borough councils are allowed to increase the tax by a maximum of 1.99 per cent or £5 on a Band D property, whichever is higher, without having to hold a referendum on the rise.

For upper-tier councils like Nottinghamshire County Council, an additional increase is allowed for social care.

Other authorities in the county are currently in the process of setting their bills, with the county council already confirming plans for a four per cent hike – three-quarters of which will be used to fund social care services.

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Mansfield District Council, however, has approved plans to freeze its precept from April after receiving what it described as a “higher-than-expected” grant settlement from the Government.

But documents published by the Conservative-led Rushcliffe authority confirm the council had discounted taking this step, with a freeze risking a revenue loss of roughly £162,000 in 2022/23, the authority says.

And the council expects the precept to rise even further in the coming years, with its medium-term financial strategy forecasting a £4.96 Band D increase in 2023/24, a £4.79 Band D rise in 2024/25 before the rise hits £5 in 2025/26.

However, a Rushcliffe councillor said the authority has taken into account the ongoing cost of living crisis and states its increase is below current levels of inflation.

The authority also says its council tax levels are among the lowest both in Nottinghamshire and in the country.

Councillor Gordon Moore, portfolio holder for finance and customer access, said: “[This is an] increase below inflation for council tax, mindful of the current cost of living.

“[It will] still remain the lowest council tax in Nottinghamshire and within the lowest 25 per cent in the country.

“Despite having to manage inflationary pressures and the ongoing impact of Covid, the council is not set to increase council tax by the maximum amount of £5 but £3.57 for a Band D household.

“It continues to improve services with new leisure facilities in Bingham, ongoing replacement of refuse vehicles, its commitment to climate change reduction initiatives and support for Freeport and Development Corporation projects at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site and their significant socio-economic benefits.”

The Rushcliffe proposals will be discussed by the authority’s cabinet on 8 February before going to all councillors for approval.

It comes as the Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry also looks likely to increase her portion of council tax bills from April.

Conservative Mrs Henry will bring a report to the Police and Crime Panel on February 8 proposing a £9.99 rise for Band D homes – just 1p less than the maximum amount without calling a referendum.

Nottinghamshire’s Fire Authority also approved a 1.95 per cent rise on its portion of council tax when it met on January 21.

The rise, which equates to a £1.62 rise for Band D properties or £1.08 for Band A homes, is marginally lower than the two per cent the authority was legally allowed to increase without calling a referendum.

Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Newark and Sherwood and Nottingham councils are yet to confirm their council tax plans for April 2022.

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