Chichester District Council has backed proposals to increase the average council tax bill by 10p a week, which would mean the average taxpayer paying £2.90 a week for services provided by the council.
Their proposal will now be discussed at the Full Council meeting on 7 March 2017 where a final decision will be made.
Chichester District Council charges one of the lowest council tax rates in the country due to the amount of efficiencies it has made over the past few years.
Although the council collects the council tax, this is then distributed to a number of public services. The council’s share amounts to around 9% of the amount paid each year. The rest goes to West Sussex County Council (79%), Sussex Police (9%), and parish councils (3% on average). Each authority makes its own decisions about its council tax increases independently.
“Keeping council tax low has always been a priority for us,” says Cllr Philippa Hardwick, Cabinet Member for Finance at Chichester District Council.
“Over the past few years, we have been working really hard to make major savings to cope with cuts to our Government funding. This was so that we could minimise any impact on our residents and continue to provide them with quality public services. If this proposal is agreed by Full Council our council tax charges will continue to remain amongst the lowest in the country.
“Although we collect all of the council tax, we only keep around 9% of this. We feel that £2.90 a week for the average taxpayer is excellent value for money considering the many services we deliver 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have been able to achieve this through good financial planning. With significant Government cuts, this has not been easy. However, we have done everything possible to reduce our costs, while continuing to maintain important frontline services.
“Unlike many other local authorities, we are also making sure that we protect those on low incomes by continuing to maintain the same level of council tax reduction that we offer. This means that those on low incomes will be protected from any council tax increase.”