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Council tax could rise in Rutland by 3.99 per cent as outlined in the draft budget for 2020/2021

Rutland residents will have to shell out an extra £68 on their council tax bill if budget proposals go through.

The county council says it needs to impose the 3.99 per cent tax rise in order to ensure the authority’s finances remain in good health.

Under the proposals – which have gone out to consultation and will be decided by the full council in February – a band D tax payer would pay an extra £68 a year or £1.30 a week.

Rutland County Council
Rutland County Council

The rise is made up of a 1.99 per cent increase on the council tax rate plus an additional two per cent adult social care precept.

A report considered by the authority’s conservative cabinet on Tuesday (January 21) said that with future government funding levels uncertain it needed to raise council tax rates.

The council currently has £8.8m in reserves.

It said: “The council is predicting a gap in funding of c£1.4m by 2022/2023 if no further action is taken.

"The chart shows that by 20233/2024, reserves will be below the minimum level needed and by 2025/2026, the Council will have no reserves left if it takes no action.”

The report says that if the proposed rise in April did not happen the authority would receive £5.9m less in council tax over five years.

The budget proposed to provide services for Rutland in 2021/2021 is £38.9m.

"This is £2.5m more than the 2019/2020 budget.

"£1.6m of the extra budget is due to ‘demand pressures’ such as having more elderly residents in residential care and an increase in the number of foster care cases."

The council is proposing to use £302,000 from reserves to balance its 2020/2021 budget.

The authority’s officers are also in the middle of preparing an emergency budget.

A spokesman for the authority said the emergency budget was a ‘contingency exercise’ in which officers are considering how the council might respond to any further funding cuts and it may implement some of the identified options at a later date on agreement of the councillors.

Currently, 80 per cent of the services provided by the authority are paid for from local council taxes.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, Coun Gordon Brown (Con-Ketton), said the authority will be lobbying government for a fairer funding deal.

Rutland band D council tax payers were charged £1,705 this year, compared to £754 in Westminster.

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