Frontline services will continue to be protected after Chichester District Councillors recommended increasing the average council tax bill by 10p a week.
This means that the average Band D council tax payer would pay £3 a week for services provided by the council.
The recommendation was made by Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday 6 February. A final decision will be made by Full Council in March.
Chichester District Council charges one of the lowest council tax rates in the country due to the amount of savings 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 equates to around 9% of the amount paid each year. The rest goes to:
West Sussex County Council (around 79%)
Sussex Police (around 9%), and
Parish councils (3% on average).
Each of these public service providers makes decisions about its council tax increases independently, and will finalise their amounts for the next financial year in the coming weeks.
“We are keen to keep council tax as low as we can, while still being able to protect vital public services for our residents,” says Councillor Peter Wilding, 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 so we continue to work on our deficit reduction plan. This aims to generate further income and savings over the next few 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 £3 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 proactive and robust 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.