Huntingdonshire’s total council tax to top £1,750 for a Band D property

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

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

Householders in Huntingdonshire will be paying more than £1,750 in council tax for the average Band D property next year.

Huntingdonshire District Council, which has just set a two per cent increase in its tax charge, is about to start sending out its bills to residents.

The authority said that its Band D charge of £138.56 amounted to 7.9 per cent of the total and was the lowest of Cambridgeshire’s District Councils, with many people paying less as two thirds lived in properties with a lower council tax band.

But the council also warned that there were tough times to come with more cuts to be made over the coming year as it faced reduced government funding levels.

The Band D bill of £1,753.39 includes charges from the county and parish councils, police and fire service, most of which have introduced increases.

Cllr Graham Bull, leader of the Conservative-controlled council 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 three per cent.

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“A two per cent increase equates to £2.72 per year for a Band D property, and for most residents it will be less than this, which is considerably less than the additional £59.40 per year that residents will have to pay to Cambridgeshire County Council and £11.97 to the Police Authority.”

Cllr Bull said: “However, we do continue to face some tough challenges ahead with Central Government reducing our grant next year, but with some grant disappearing altogether the year after.

“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 continue to work hard 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.”

Cllr Jonathan Gray, executive councillor for strategic resources, said: “The council has followed a robust budget setting process to ensure that every pound is accounted for.

“Between 2017/18 and 2018/19, there has only been a £71,000 net increase, less than half a per cent, in service expenditure. The council has been able to ensure that it continues to provide essential services to its residents in the most cost effective way possible. This budget aims to protect valued services at a time when we, like other councils, continue to face significant reductions in funding.”