Council tax payers across Stratford district face increase to bills

Council tax
Council tax

Council tax payers across Stratford district are facing a £5 increase to their bills in April

The figures, which is a 3.6 per cent hike for an average band D property, was announced at this week’s cabinet meeting (Monday January 13) of district council along with a number of funding proposals for the coming financial year.

Council leader Cllr Tony Jefferson explained that the council was in an awkward position and warned that there could be tough times ahead.

He said: “No one likes to pay more tax. However, we are between a rock and a hard place.

“Our funding is being cut, we are constrained in our ability to raise council tax and we have to demonstrate that we are financially sustainable in the medium term. District councils are at the bottom of the list when government funding is distributed – over the next few years we’re losing big chunks of our revenue.

“We are taking a strategic and prudent view given the funding issues we face. We have taken some tough decisions this year and we think that we will have to take more tough decisions next year. We believe that what we are doing represents the least worst option.”

Among the budget proposals for 2020/21 are the continued support for the Fred Winter Project and UBUS.

A one-off budget of £500,000 has also been earmarked for climate change strategy funding to cover the work and proposals of the task and finish group chaired by the council’s Lib Dem leader Cllr Susan Juned. The group is working to make the district carbon-neutral by 2030.

Now that the proposals have been agreed by cabinet members they will go out to consultation through a questionnaire which will be sent to the Council’s Citizens’ Panel.

The final budget recommendations will come before the full council meeting on February 24.