Council tax: Ashfield Council cabinet takes 'tough decision' to agree district-wide rise

A planned council tax hike for all homes in Ashfield has moved a step closer as Ashfield District Council’s cabinet members supported the “tough decision” to raise bills.
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The cabinet has progressed its budget plans which would see all homes in the district giving the authority 2.94 per cent more annually from April.

The planned increase is part of budget-balancing proposals at the Ashfield Independent-led council aimed at tackling the pressure of soaring inflation.

The increase, which is marginally below the maximum 2.99 per cent possible, works out at £5.75 more per year for band D homes.

Ashfield District Council's cabinet has supported a 2.94 rise in council taxAshfield District Council's cabinet has supported a 2.94 rise in council tax
Ashfield District Council's cabinet has supported a 2.94 rise in council tax

Over the year, it takes the total band D precept paid to fund the district council’s services up to £201.21.

The increase would hit band A homes, which make up the majority of properties in the district, with a £3.83 rise and take the council’s total portion of bills to £134.14.

For band B homes, the rise works out at £4.72 and takes the total precept for the authority up to £156.50.

And band C homes would pay the council £5.11 more from April, giving the authority £178.85 in total.

Cabinet members backed the plans at the meeting on February 21 and the tax rise will now be presented to the budget full council meeting on March 2.

Speaking in the cabinet meeting, Coun David Martin (Ash Ind), portfolio holder for finance, said: “This has been a very tough decision given the cost of living crisis followed by massive levels of inflation in the economy.

“The council, too, is a victim of these inflation levels, particularly in relation to energy, fuel and pay.

“The funding settlement from Government doesn’t come close to addressing these inflationary pressures so, like most councils, Ashfield regrettably needs to apply a modest increase to council tax.

“Without this, continued delivery of some of our valued services would not be possible.”

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It follows Government data showing the authority was the second-worst affected council nationally for reductions to available cash since 2015-16.

The figures, published by Whitehall in December, showed the council will have 10.5 per cent less money to spend in 2023-24 compared with eight years previous.

Only one council out of 333 nationally had worse figures, with the authority expected to have £12.8 million available to spend on core services next year compared with £14.3 million eight years ago.

And Coun Jason Zadrozny-Bland (Ash Ind), the council’s leader, said without increasing bills, services could be put at risk.

He said: “The pressure Government has put on us – not just with funding cuts but inflation and other things – made the decision even more challenging this year.

“It’s worth us labouring the point that we don’t quite get 9p from every one pound residents pay and we still deliver all our services.

“Although this is still a modest increase, it’s a bottle of milk and two loaves of bread over the year residents essentially give to us.

"But this is helping to protect a huge array of services at this council.”

Bills in Ashfield will also increase further from April after the Police and Crime Commissioner and Nottinghamshire County Council had their proposed raises approved.

The Nottinghamshire Fire Authority is also proposing a £5 increase for all house bands, with proposals to be debated on February 24.