District council proposes to increase council tax

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House - Credit: Archant

Householders in Huntingdonshire are facing a two per cent rise in the amount of Council Tax they pay to Huntingdonshire District Council in the next financial year.

The move, which still has to be formally approved by the council, amounts to an extra £2.66 a year for the average Band D property. If approved in February, the council’s charge for a Band D property would be £138.56 a month.

The council said a rise was necessary to help meet cuts in Government funding levels and that further savings will have to be found in the coming year.

But the authority said it would remain one of the lowest-charging in the country.

Council leader, Councillor Graham Bull said: “The council continues to work extremely hard to ensure that it runs its services to the maximum efficiency.

“Through sound financial management we have drafted a budget which means that residents will see an increase in Council Tax of two per cent in 2018/19. This is considerably less than inflation which currently stands at 3.1 per cent.”

Cllr Bull said: “A two per cent increase equates to £2.66 for a Band D property and for most residents it will be less than this.

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“However, we do face some tough challenges ahead - we know funding from central Government continues to be reduced for next year but also in future years and we need to be prepared for this.”

He said: “Our priority is to maintain the high quality essential services that our residents expect and we are well-placed to do this, despite the cuts in funding.”

“We are continuing to work hard now to maximise every opportunity to save money without compromising quality in order to ensure that we are fully prepared for reduced funding levels in future years.”

Budget plans will be discussed by the council in the coming weeks.

The authority said key measures in the budget would include investment in staff to tackle homelessness across the district, a commitment to encouraging residents to take part in sport and additional support for frontline services, such as waste collection and planning.

Councillor Jonathan Gray, executive councillor for strategic resources, said: “.

“Between this and the next financial year, new homes bonus will reduce by 26 per cent and revenue support grant by 49 per cent, with the latter disappearing completely in 2019/2020.”

In addition to the district’s tax, a charge is paid to Cambridgeshire County Council, the police, fire service and parish councils.