Council tax rise on the cards?

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150528-150342001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150528-150342001

Residents in Rother are being asked to have their say on budget proposals which could see council tax increase for the first time in six years.

Rother District Council is considering raising council tax by 1.94 per cent to help offset savings required due to continued Government funding cuts.

The proposal would see the district council’s element of the council tax bill go up by £3.13 a year – or 26p a month – for a Band D property, generating an extra £115,200.

The council has seen a reduction in Government funding of £4.6 million, or 68 per cent, since 2011, with savings made as a result including cutting staffing costs by £2.6 million.

However, faced with having to make a further £3 million savings by 2020, the authority says increasing council tax could help towards protecting some frontline services, although the scale of the funding cuts means considerable savings would still have to be made.

Residents are being asked to take part in a public consultation on the proposals, which runs until Tuesday, February 16.

Cllr Lord Ampthill, cabinet member for finance, resources and value for money, said: “We’ve made huge savings and reduced staffing levels dramatically over the past five years, while managing to freeze council tax.

“We’ve done everything possible to cut costs, but we’re facing a continued funding squeeze, and raising council tax could be a way of ensuring we can continue to deliver the level of services people expect.”

The proposed district council budget of £12.3 million includes savings from 2015-16 of more than £235,000 in running costs and £350,000 saved as the result of the switch to a new leisure services contract which now costs the taxpayer nothing.

People can view the budget proposals and have their say online at www.rother.gov.uk/

* Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.bexhillobserver.net/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bexhillobserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @BexhillObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Bexhill Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.