Posts Tagged ‘council tax’

South Glos council tax frozen for fourth year

Posted on Wednesday 19th February 2014 at 10:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Logo of South Gloucestershire Council.

Council tax in South Gloucestershire is to be frozen for a fourth consecutive year after three-party revenue budget proposals were agreed at a meeting of Full Council tonight (Wednesday 19th February).

A revenue budget of £190.7 million was set for 2014/15, with council tax for a Band D property remaining unchanged at £1,245.20.

A further freeze is also planned for 2015/16, followed by a two per cent increase in 2016/17.

The council says it has been able to freeze council tax for a fourth year due to positive progress with its current savings programme, which will have delivered savings of £43m by 2014/15, and higher than expected council tax receipts. The cost of the freeze will also be partially offset by a 1 per cent central government grant.

In addition to the council tax freeze, the budget also sets out a new Council Savings Programme (CSP), which will begin in 2014/15, with the aim of delivering an additional £36m of savings by 2019/20.

This level of savings will require significant changes to services in the coming years as the role of the council evolves to meet anticipated reductions in its resources.

The budget was finalised following extensive consultation with residents which included road show events at the district’s main shopping areas, together with paper and online surveys and Area Forum exercises. In total, more than 2,300 people responded to the consultation.

Respondents were asked to consider which services the council should prioritise in the coming years, with care for vulnerable older people identified as the highest-priority service (selected by 68 per cent of respondents).

The consultation findings were reflected in tonight’s budget, which includes plans for additional investment in community care and older peoples’ services over the next three years.

Consultation respondents were also invited to consider how the council should approach cost-saving measures, with the majority (87 per cent) saying that the council should make more use of its land and assets. Two-thirds (66 per cent) said that more services should be made available online, while 60 per cent said that the council should seek cost-savings by involving communities more closely in delivering services, such as through volunteering.

The agreed budget sets out a review of council land and assets, a new digital strategy and a renewed commitment to working with the third sector and volunteers, while also reviewing how more services can be passed on to localities.

Source: Press release from South Gloucestershire Council.

Further information:

More: Comment from the main political groups on the council »

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Commissioner consults on police component of council tax

Posted on Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at 11:31 am by SH (Editor)

Avon and Somerset PCC.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Sue Mountstevens wants residents to have their say on how much they are prepared to pay towards policing next year.

The Commissioner has been carrying out consultation on the policing part of the council tax since May, to ensure the views of residents are considered when making her decision regarding next year’s budget.

Ms Mountstevens said:

“It’s really important that residents tell me what they would be prepared to contribute towards policing. For the past three years the policing part of the council tax has been frozen. Now I have the choice to freeze again and put 200 posts at risk, to increase by up to 2%, costing the average resident £3.36 extra a year, or go higher and risk a referendum.”

“These are difficult decisions and I need to be sure that I have heard from as many local people as possible before I make them.”

“The Constabulary have been working hard on what the impact of any spending cuts could look like. We already know that if the council tax is frozen residents will see a reduction in police officers and staff and this impact is bound to be felt in communities. There is a balancing act to do between making sure the Constabulary are sufficiently resourced to concentrate on the things that matter to you and not burdening already over-stretched residents with higher household bills.”

Ms Mountstevens has also spoken with over 1,000 residents whilst visiting various events across the summer where extensive budget consultation has taken place.

The budget consultation involves the completion of an on-line questionnaire at www.consultation.avonandsomerset.police.uk Copies will also be sent to local authority and other public buildings, including libraries.

For further information or to request a copy of the survey please call 01275 816377.

The consultation runs until until Friday 15th November 2013.

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Three-party budget proposals set to freeze Council Tax for third year

Posted on Wednesday 13th February 2013 at 6:32 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

Council Tax is set to be frozen for a third consecutive year in South Gloucestershire while the Living Wage will be introduced for low-paid council staff from October 2013, as part of three-party revenue budget proposals agreed by the council’s Policy & Resources Committee earlier this week.

In the authority’s first budget proposals since moving to a committee system last May, committee members recommended a budget of £189 million for 2013/14, with Council Tax for a Band D property to be set at £1,245.50.

The proposals, which were agreed unanimously by the authority’s three political groups, will be considered at Full Council later this month, prior to implementation in April 2013.

Leader of the council’s Conservative Group Cllr John Calway said:

“South Gloucestershire’s part of the Council Tax is one household item that does not have to increase because of our plan to freeze it, whilst at the same time protecting the value-for-money frontline services that our residents demand. As a result, the average Band D household is on course to have saved £139 on their Council Tax bill over 3 years.”

Leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Ruth Davis said:

“This budget will see the protection of our vital services, and allow us to plan for the future. I’m pleased we were able to address the priorities of all three parties.”

Leader of the council’s Labour Group Cllr Andy Perkins said:

“I am pleased that key Labour proposals have made their way into the agreed package. Bringing in the Living Wage, keeping our Housing Benefit team fully staffed and freezing the Council Tax are all measures that should help those struggling with their finances.”

The proposed spending commitments will be met by freezing the council’s inflation provisions for 2013/14. This will reduce its Council Tax increase requirements and in turn allow it to access a government grant that will allow Council Tax to be frozen for a third year.

The Full Council meeting takes place at 7pm on Wednesday 20th February, at the council’s Kingswood Civic Centre. The meeting is open to members of the public and copies of the agenda and reports are available online.

Source: South Gloucestershire Council

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Itemised Council Tax statements could be on the way

Posted on Wednesday 17th October 2012 at 9:01 pm by SH (Editor)

The Conservatives.

Council Tax bills could be itemised in South Gloucestershire as part of fresh efforts to show taxpayers where their money goes, say local Conservatives.

This year South Gloucestershire Council charged the average Band D household £1,227 in Council Tax.

The authority had already been one of the first councils in the country to publish payments over £500 – and now Conservative councillors are leading efforts for Council Tax bills to be made more transparent.

At a Full Council meeting tonight (17th October 2012), a majority of councillors approved plans that could lead to itemised statements being sent out along with Council Tax bills that breaks down how residents’ money is spent by the authority.

But Lib Dem councillors were split on the issue with some councillors either opposing the initiative or abstaining when it came to the main vote.

Rodway Conservative councillor Kevin Seager, who proposed the initiative on behalf of the Conservative Group, said:

“When times are as tough as they are at the moment, it’s never been more important to demonstrate to council taxpayers where exactly their hardened money is going and what it’s being spent on.”

“Great strides have been made by the council in more recent years to shine a light on where public money is spent, including being one of the first councils in the country to publish every payment over £500.”

“If Her Majesty’s Treasury is saying that it can provide a statement to each taxpayer showing how the national taxes that they have paid have contributed to public spending, then we should be looking to produce a local version.”

“It’s that sort of itemised breakdown which should provide confidence to local ratepayers that their money is continuing to be spent wisely and so it’s disappointing to see so many Lib Dem councillors failing to back this idea.”

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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