Sunday 19 May 2024
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Council tax rise of almost 5% proposed for Nottinghamshire taxpayers

Nottinghamshire council taxpayers could see their bills increase by 4.84 per cent from April as the county council outlines plans to balance its books.

The Conservative-led authority wants to impose a 2.84 per cent rise on the standard council tax precept used to fund services like education and transport.

A further two per cent will be taken for the ringfenced adult social care precept which, when combined, leads to a £79.57 increase for ‘Band D’ homes.

For Band A and B homes, which make up about 59 per cent of all Nottinghamshire households, the increase is £53.05 and £61.88 respectively per year.

Separate changes could be proposed by district and borough councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Nottinghamshire Fire Authority.

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Mansfield District Council has already outlined plans to freeze its portion of the bill, while Nottingham City Council plans the maximum 4.99 per cent rise.

The county council has begun to outline its financial plans for 2023/24 and set out a three-year budget position until 2026.

In November, the council faced a gap of about £74m over the coming three years fuelled by a £24m inflationary hit this year.

 

However, the authority says it expects to finish the current financial year roughly on budget despite an 11 per cent inflation rate.

Councillor Ben Bradley MP (Con), the council’s leader, says this balanced position has given the authority more flexibility over the coming years.

He said: “We’re in quite a good place, relatively, and we’ve now balanced the books essentially for the next three years.

“We’re not taking the maximum council tax rise while not really having to cut anything.

“We’ve bought ourselves some time to do our long-term work, which is about transforming our services, doing more prevention and helping people in their communities.

“As we go forward, we’ll hopefully be in a position where we can talk about how we can offer more value for that council tax.”

He added: “We’re trying to protect residents as far as we possibly can.

“I could freeze tax but then have to close all our children’s centres. That would be doing a disservice to people in the most disadvantaged parts of our county.

“It’s a balancing act and I’m the first person to say raising taxes every year isn’t sustainable.

“But our goal is to get to a place where the council is fully sustainable and we don’t need to have those conversations.”

Questions have been raised about the decision to take 4.84 per cent more in council tax next year during a cost of living crisis.

Cllr Kate Foale, Labour Group leader, said: “This is raising council tax on local residents during a cost-of-living crisis with no ask of the Government to do better to fund services properly.

“I would say this is not exactly most people in Nottinghamshire’s idea of ‘levelling up’.

“The Tories in County Hall are still happy to kick the problem down the road rather than demanding better funding from Government, and that is a failure of leadership.

“Under a Labour-led council, our first order of business would be to challenge the Government on their decade of underfunding local public services.

“Council tax rises are a sticking plaster, we need long-term solutions to these problems.”

The budget papers, due to be published next week, are expected to also include continued investment in road repairs and cash to fund new schools.

The plans will be discussed by the overview committee and cabinet members later this month before the budget is presented to the full council in February.

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