South Ribble Borough Council rethinks council tax rise

South Ribble Borough Council has scrapped a planned council tax rise just days before it was due to be voted on as part of the authority’s budget.

By Paul Faulkner
Monday, 21st February 2022, 9:40 pm
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 9:42 pm

The council had been set to propose a 1.99 percent hike in its share of the bill - the maximum-permitted increase without having to call a local referendum.

However, the authority is now poised to freeze the charge at its current level - which is £223.34 on a Band D property. That figure excludes the Lancashire County Council element of the bill and the charges levied by the police and fire services.

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South Ribble Borough Council has received more money from business rates than it expected - so is now planning to freeze council tax for residents

South Ribble's reversal is the result of the council receiving more money than it had expected in business rates income.

Council leader Paul Foster said: “We’ve always said that we will only put council tax up when we have to, not because we can.

“We all know the pressures residents are facing with household bills going up and feedback in the consultation about the budget was that people did not want to see a council tax increase.

“We’ve had some very late information through from the government that means we will be receiving more from business rates so this allows us to freeze council tax without affecting our funding going forward.

“It’s good news because we are able to do our bit to help residents and the increase in business rate income is down to the growth in the local economy, which is a really good sign as we come out of the pandemic.”

The authority is also pledging to invest a total of more than £8 million in projects including the creation of affordable homes, work to improve parks and open spaces and support for businesses, community groups and sports clubs.

All of the proposals will be debated and voted upon during the annual budget meeting on Wednesday evening.

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