Council tax hike proposed for residents of Stratford district

They face an average increase in their bill of £5 per month from April.
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Residents look set to face an average £5 increase in their Stratford District Council council tax bill from April should the latest budget proposals be given the go ahead next month.

Councillors at this week’s [MON] cabinet meeting backed the plan which will see those living in a band D property paying £159.12.

In presenting his draft budget for the coming financial year, Cllr Trevor Harvey (Con, Shipston North), portfolio holder for resources, said: “This is the equivalent of an increase of just 3.2% and is significantly lower than either the current or projected level of inflation for next year.

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“Stratford District Council’s precept is currently the 19th lowest among the country’s 181 district councils. Despite this proposed increase, Stratford will remain one of the councils with the lowest council tax rate.”

Central government announced that councils could only increase council tax by the higher of 2.99% or £5 - anything more than that would need to be agreed at a local referendum.

Cllr Harvey also explained that due to the council’s investments attracting a higher rate of interest, money could be earmarked to fill a number of positions including bringing in a new environmental health officer, tree officer and housing policy and development officer who will ensure developers deliver the required amount of affordable housing. In addition, £50,000 will be allocated to meet the cost of commemorating the King’s coronation on May 6.

Cllr Harvey said: “The cabinet is pleased to endorse a budget that both maintains all current provision of services, in itself an achievement given the rising costs involved, and builds on our current range of services that we provide.

“The proposed budget now goes out to the public, to businesses and to the overview and scrutiny committee for additional comment. The cabinet wants this budget to meet the needs of our residents and we welcome input before any final decisions are taken. I am determined that the huge amount of work that has gone into its preparation will best meet the needs and aspirations of those who live and work in the district.”

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