Tax consultation to close today

Time is running out for people to have their say over council tax.

Rother District Council has presented residents with a difficult dilemma - pay more for council tax or risk having services cut.

Bexhillians have been asked to give their views on which decision they feel the council should opt for when they meet on Monday (February 23).

More than 320 people have responded to the consultation, which is due to end today (Friday February 20).

Those against a rise in the RDC precept - Rother’s portion of the final council tax bill - say a rise would be unfair on those on low incomes.

But others say a cut in discretionary services provided by the council could have a devastating impact, with some raising fears that some services could be lost for good.

One respondent said: “Even though I don’t want any more services cut or taken away, people I have spoken to just cant afford anymore on their bills.”

Another said: “Further savings from existing services will prove to be more difficult to achieve in future, inevitable rising costs for many services will put a strain on financial resources available.

“To delay an increase in council tax by £3.22 would build up problems for future years - better a nominal increase now than a substantial rise later on.

“Services lost will be difficult to restore.”

A spokesperson for Rother District Council said: “Every year we ask for the views of local residents and businesses before setting Rother District Council’s share of council tax.

“This money will be used to pay for a wide variety of services including waste and recycling collection, street sweeping and litter bins, parks, gardens and open spaces, supporting regeneration, sports and arts and culture.

“The feedback from the consultation will be taken into account by members when they meet on Monday, February 23 to set the district’s budget for 2015/16.

“To date we have received slightly more responses than last year and people have until the end of the day on Friday, February 20 to give their views.

“Residents and businesses can find out more by visiting www.rother.gov.uk/article/10871/Budget--Council-Tax-Consultation-2015”