Council tax set to rise across Warwick district - The Leamington Observer

Council tax set to rise across Warwick district

Leamington Editorial 3rd Mar, 2021   0

COUNCILLORS in Warwick district have given the go-ahead for a £5 tax hike.

Warwick District Council’s budget for 2021/22 was approved at a recent full council meeting which included a £5 rise in the authority’s share of the bill.

The decision means from April, a Band D household will pay the district council £177 a year in council tax, compared with £172.

Authority leader Andrew Day said: “The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on our capacity to provide the high-quality services our residents expect from this council. We’ve thrown everything we’ve got into a shared effort to support our communities and put in place a recovery plan to help get us back on our feet as soon as possible. The £5 increase in council tax this year is vital if we’re to continue this important work.

“We’re also extending our relationship with Stratford District Council. Working together our two councils have an opportunity to further improve our services, while strengthening our resilience and capacity to positively respond to new challenges, such as the covid-19 recovery and the climate emergency. Taking the tough decisions now, will enable efficiencies to be seized and resources focused on our shared capacity to provide innovative, agile and high-quality services.”

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) has already approved an increase in its share of council tax, equivalent to £44 a year for an average Band D property.

Of the 2.99 per cent increase, one per cent will be ring-fenced for adult social care, with the remaining 1.99 per cent to cover all other services.

The approved budget includes £136million of permanent investments over the next five years, including £9.1million in children’s social care services, £8.2million to protect elderly citizens and vulnerable adults, and £3.8million to support children and young people with disabilities for next year alone.

However, the Conservative-controlled authority has also had to make across-the-board cuts of some £47million.

Opposition members said central government was forcing councils to put up Council Tax while making cuts to residents’ services, and pushing more of the burden for social care onto local authorities.

Warwickshire Police has also increased its share of council tax by the equivalent of £15 extra a year on a Band D property, to allow the force to ‘deliver improved services to the public without spending more than it receives’.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Philip Seccombe said the rise would fund 41 new officers, more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, and more resources for teams working with vulnerable victims, child exploitation and trafficking.

But the Conservative PCC’s opponents said residents would be ‘paying more and getting less’, claiming constables would be taken off the streets to fill the roles of 87 police staff members who will be made redundant under the force’s ‘ongoing transformational change programme’.

The proportion of tax retained by the district council is around nine per cent, with the lion’s share of just under 77 per cent going to Warwickshire County Council. Warwickshire Police accounts for some 12 per cent, while three per cent goes to town and parish councils.


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