North Kesteven District Council has approved a rise of 3.41% for its element of council tax in order to ‘safeguard services’.
The rise is in response to government cuts in its direct funding to local councils, which the council has said will plummet to 0% within four years.
The council says it’s looking to build up its financial resilience to ensure the continued delivery of a high level of services.
Full council approved an increase in the district’s share of the council tax charge of £4.95 at Band D – equivalent to a rise of nine pence per week.
Three-quarters of households in the district are in Bands A to C, meaning the authority’s share will rise by six to eight pence per week.
In proposing the authority’s financial plan to full council on Thursday, February 25, Councillor Marion Brighton OBE, leader of the council, said: “As seems to be the norm it has been a difficult time for compiling the council’s budget, which has not been helped by the very late announcements on the finance settlement.
“Despite this we have a proactive and forward looking budget which focusses on the challenges we face and takes the steps necessary to safeguard the future.
“We have been able to invest in delivering outcomes with a number of new developments proposed within the budget. These additions are considered to be important in order to meet the council’s aims and objectives.
“While the council has a robust financial position, we are under no illusion as to the scale of the challenges we face in future years.
“It is clear there are difficult times ahead.
“With this in mind, the executive board was faced with a number of options regarding council tax levels, not least the late option to increase council tax by up to £5.
“This was a difficult decision, but considering the risks the council faces the executive board believes it is important to increase the council tax base in order to guard against further cuts and protect the valued services provided by this council.”
Although NKDC collects council tax, it ultimately takes 9% of the overall bill, with Lincolnshire County Council taking £1,128.78 at Band D (a rise of 3.95%) the Police & Crime Commissioner taking £201.51 (an increase of 1.96%) and the charge set by parish and town councils, which are around 7%.