Rutland County Council proposes 3.99 per cent tax increase

Rutland County Council's Catmose offices in Oakham. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-150923-095036001
Rutland County Council's Catmose offices in Oakham. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-150923-095036001

Rutland County Council wants to increase tax by 3.99 per cent to combat further cuts in Government funding.

The proposal to raise tax for the first time in six years is one of several which make up the authority’s draft annual budget for 2016/17, put forward by the cabinet for consideration by the full council in February.

The council will get £1.6m less from the Government than it did in 2015/16, and plans to save £1.256 in the coming year.

The net cost of services will be £33.773m, which is less than one per cent higher than the approved budget for 2015/16 of £33.509m, and the overall budget positon will be balanced by using £853,000 of reserves in 2016/17.

The tax increase would equate to £1.10 per week for an average Band D property.

Acting leader and portfolio holder for finance Terry King (Con) said: “Through careful financial planning, the council is in a position where it does not need to take drastic action, such as wholesale cuts to services.

“Our proposed budget for 2016/17 is robust and balanced, albeit we are using reserves.

“Over the medium term, the position becomes increasingly challenging and members must balance decisions between cutting local services and raising more revenue as central Government passes fiscal responsibility on to local authorities. The earlier the council takes action, the less severe this will need to be.

“However, any decision not to increase council tax or apply the social care precept would leave us with significant financial problems in years to come.”

The council has launched a public consultation on the budget, which will run until January 29. Further information about how to take part is on display at the council’s Catmose office and at libraries.

Alternatively, you can share your views online. The outcome of the consultation will be reported to cabinet February 9 and full council will make the final decision on February 22.