Council bosses assess options for rise to tax bills

Lancashire residents could face higher council tax rises next year without having a vote on any decisions.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 3:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 4:25 pm
The cap local authorities are able to increase council tax by without triggering a referendum is being increased

The cap on rate rises without triggering a local referendum has been increased by the Government.

It means both county hall and the city council have the option to increase tax by 2.99 per cent rather than 1.99.

This is in addition to last year’s social care precept that hands providers the option to raise funds ring-fenced for the ailing services.

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Lancashire County Council was among many authorities to impose a two per cent rise for social care, likely to be replicated for the next two years.

This means bosses at county hall have the option to hike their section of the tax bill by 4.99 per cent in total next April.

Councils that imposed the maximum three per cent precept last year, and opt to do so again, could propose a 5.99 increase.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said the move would give local authorities “the independence they need to help relieve pressure on local services” while “recognising the need to keep spending under control”.

Cabinet member for resources at Preston Council, Coun Martyn Rawlinson, said: “The announcement from central government provided a whole range of measures that affect local government finance, including the ability to raise an extra one per cent on council tax. Cabinet is now looking carefully at the details.”

County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council said: “We are carefully considering the funding statement and its implications for the council.”

Local authorities across the country will be announcing their budget proposals for 2018/19 early next year. Preston Council’s will be on January 31.