Frontline services will be protected after Chichester District Councillors agreed to increase the average council tax bill by 10p a week.
This means that the average taxpayer will pay £2.90 a week for services provided by the council. The decision was made at the council meeting on Tuesday 7 March.
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.
“The council is continuing to work hard to ensure that support is in place for the people in our community who need it most. We also recognise that we need to make further savings to cope with cuts to our Government funding and we are working on our deficit reduction plan. It aims to generate further income and savings amounting to £3.9m over the next five years which we hope will minimise future council tax increases.
“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.”
Chichester District Council provides more than 80 services, which are delivered over a 24-hour period. It empties bins, checks food hygiene standards, cleans the streets, looks after the coastline, cares for parks and open spaces and provides support and reassurance to the vulnerable – to name just a few services.