7th Apr, 2020

Climate Action Fund referendum scrapped - for now

Laura Kearns 26th Mar, 2020 Updated: 26th Mar, 2020

A REFERENDUM asking households to fund a Climate Action Fund has been scrapped for now.

Warwick District Council was due to meet yesterday (Wednesday) to decide whether to cancel the referendum asking for council tax contributions to be increased.

But after the country went into lockdown the meeting was cancelled and councillors agreed to call off any tax hikes ‘for the moment’.

The council will now revert to a 2.99 per cent increase this year – a rise of £5 for a band D home – and all council tax payments will be adjusted and reissued.

Overpayments of around £10 will be made in April and May which have already been billed for, but these will be reduced on future bills.

In a joint statement, group leaders and Warwick District Council chairman George Illingworth said: “Had this meeting taken place, councillors would have voted on a recommendation to withdraw their proposal for excessive council tax in Warwick district, to create a ring-fenced fund to tackle climate change. However this meeting will not now be possible and neither will the referendum due to the current restrictions in place.

“Councillors regret that this approach has to be taken, but they have to act lawfully and respect the challenges faced by the nation at the moment.

“While dealing with coronavirus is the main priority, councillors are unanimous in their ambition to combat the effects of climate change and continue to support action that needs to be taken, as set out in their action programme. They will consider the financing required to tackle it in their 2020/21 budget review.”

Bills will be updated automatically and there is no need to take further action.

The council tax allocated to Warwickshire County Council, police and town and parish councils is unaffected.

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