Council Tax bill to rise for Worksop and Retford residents

Bassetlaw District Council, Queen's Buildings
Bassetlaw District Council, Queen's Buildings

Worksop and Retford residents can expect to pay more Council Tax after Bassetlaw District Council agreed a 1.9 per cent rise at a meeting last night.

Bassetlaw residents will be asked to pay, on average, an additional £3.05 per year, or 6 pence per week, based on a Band D property.

However, with around 51 per cent of properties in Bassetlaw falling into Band A, this equates to an increase of £2.03 per year, or 4 pence per week.

The 1.9 per cent increase is projected to generate an additional £238,000 for the council when taking into account the rise in Council Tax and the additional number of homes in the district that will now be eligible to pay Council Tax, called the Council Tax base. This figure is also based on an estimated collection rate of 98 per cent.

Councillor June Evans, cabinet member for finance at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “The council is operating in a prolonged time of austerity and continuous Government cuts in funding, which has resulted in a reduction of more than £10 million to the amount the council has received since 2010.

“We continue to work hard to save money in all areas, however, an increase in Council Tax is unfortunately unavoidable and the proposal for an increase of 1.9 per cent was agreed by councillors on Tuesday 7th March.

“While we have been forced to ask Bassetlaw residents to dig deeper into their pockets for the year ahead, I am pleased to say that in the wake of further Government cuts, we will again deliver a balanced budget for 2017/18 without any loss to frontline services.”

“This has been possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of officers here in Bassetlaw, who this year were able to identify savings of around £719k for the 2017/18 financial year.

“This has been achieved by making efficiency savings across the board, having a greater focus on generating income, and by entering into shared services agreements with A1 Housing.”

“As such we continue to receive a positive Value for Money assessment from the Government by staying at least one year ahead of the game, and planning for every financial eventuality.”

However, Coun Evans warned that further savings must be identified as the council will be forced to reduce its budgets by a further £4.6m over the next four years.

A total of £2.9m of savings have already been identified, leaving a shortfall of £1.661m. This leaves £953,000 to be identified for 2018/19, and £708k for 2019/20.

Coun Evans added: “By the end of the decade, we will not receive any grant support from the Government and we are unclear of their plans for future funding streams, for example; the New Homes Bonus, or what levels of Business Rates we will be permitted to retain.

“Either way, these ongoing changes in Government financial policy are, for me, a red flag that signals that further cuts and new pressures will be coming.

“We recognise that against an unstable financial background, we cannot spend money we don’t have, as such there is no call for any new capital investment schemes for 2017/18.”