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Council Tax increase wins unanimous support

Councillors from across the political divide - including Independents - voted unanimously on Monday night to increase the District Council's share of Council Tax by 2.99%, which means Dales households will pay on average 11p more a week for our services in 2018/19.

The District Council, which collects Council Tax on behalf of all local authorities but only spends 12% of the total (Derbyshire County Council’s share is 71%), will continue to provide those services to local people at an average cost of just 56p a day – despite the continuing squeeze on its finances.

Speaking at Monday's annual budget meeting (see a video of his speech at the foot of this page), Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE said successive central government grant cuts - including a further £637,000 reduction for 2018/19 - meant the council was aiming to continue to work hard to minimise the impact of service cuts, despite having to find additional ongoing savings of £1 million over the next three years.

He said: "I hope Members will share my view that the recommendations should be supported. I'm not going to beat about the bush. The truth is we are expected to increase our Council Tax bill by 2.99%; everything that has been hurled at us by the government says just that, particularly the reduction in grant funding and the reduction in the amount we are allowed to spend. Unfortunately, and I take no pride in this, this is the third increase in eight years. For five years prior to 2016/17 we actually froze Council Tax which was no mean achievement - but we were given incentives by government to do that at the time.

"The inflation rate and cost of providing services over that eight year period bears no comparison to this modest request and it only goes to prove that we have worked hard to reduce costs and make savings in many ways as well as increasing income to help balance the books."

Services provided by the District Council include affordable housing, business support, leisure centres and health initiatives, waste and recycling collections, parks maintenance, street cleaning, council tax support and crime prevention initiatives, and Councillor Rose added: "I've not been afraid from time to time to criticise governments of all political colours when they have not treated district councils fairly, particularly with the extra cost of providing services in sparse rural areas like ours.

"Rural authorities as a whole are significantly worse treated in terms of funding than urban authorities. We know that rural authorities do have additional costs; emptying the bins here is a far more complicated affair than just running up and down a town with houses on either side.

"So we continue to lobby the government to ensure areas such as ours are properly recognised."

The 2.99% increase means band D tax households will pay on average 11p more a week for District Council services in 2018/19.

View the council meeting agenda [PDF 1MB]
View the Council Tax setting report [PDF 56KB]

Video of Councillor Rose's budget statement:

Video of the full Council Tax debate:

 

Councillors from across the political divide - including Independents - voted unanimously on Monday night to increase the District Council

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