Council tax may rise as Wychavon to save £270,000 next year - The Evesham Observer

Council tax may rise as Wychavon to save £270,000 next year

Evesham Editorial 2nd Dec, 2016   0

COUNCIL tax bills could be set to rise next year while savings of £270,000 still need to be found by Wychavon District Council, the authorities’ draft budget plans have revealed.

The details emerged in the council’s Grow, Save, Charge plan for 2017/18, which members of Wychavon’s Executive Board voted in favour of at their meeting last Wednesday (November 23).

Included in the plans is a council tax rise of £5 for band d properties – taking their monthly bill up to £122.73, which is the maximum limit council tax, can be raised by before a local referendum has to be held.

Savings of £350,000 also need to be found. Council chiefs have identified £80,000 worth of savings through joint-working with Malvern Hills District Council and following a review of their management structures, leaving them with £270,000 worth of savings still to be found.

The final budget proposals will be debated and voted on at a full council meeting in February.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Lynn Duffy, Deputy Leader and Portfolio holder for Resources, said the planned council tax increased could be reviewed once the council founds out more information about Government changes to the Business Rates and New Homes Bonus schemes.

“We’re in a really enviable position compared to many councils and we have a budget surplus forecast for the next five years, and we’re free from external debt despite our investment programme,” Coun Duffy said.

“I’ve had discussions regarding the council tax increases and if our good position continues, and when we’ve heard the details on the New Homes Bonus and Business Rates, we maybe reviewing those increases.

“We continue to perform well with business rates, but must exercise caution as we don’t yet know the detail behind the new schemes.

“It’s important we continue with our Grow, Save, Charge programme and identify new targets going forward. It’s been extremely successful so far and it will help us focus on staying financially stable as we move forward.”


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