Chesterfield council plans to raise tax and make £200k savings in coming year

Chesterfield Borough Council intends to increase council tax.
Chesterfield Borough Council intends to increase council tax.

Chesterfield Borough Council is planning to raise council tax and make £200,000 of savings over the next year, it has emerged.

The news comes as the Derbyshire Times learned that the grant the Labour-led authority will receive from central Government for 2018-19 will be £6million lower than it was in 2010 - a decrease of 59.5 per cent.

By 2020-21, it is expected the council will receive no central Government grant at all - meaning the authority will have to finance itself.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the Labour-led council, today criticised the Conservative Government over ongoing austerity.

The proposed council tax increase will see bills for those in a band A property rise from £103.26 to £106.59 a year. Most residents in Chesterfield are in a band A property.

Properties in band D will see charges rise from £154.89 to £159.89.

Council tax revenue helps the cash-strapped authority provide a range of services.

Ahead of a budget meeting next Tuesday, Coun Gilby told the Derbyshire Times: "Councillors will be asked to consider approving an increase of 6p a week for a band A property which means the majority of council taxpayers in Chesterfield will receive the wide range of services we provide for £2.05 a week.

"While we do not wish to increase council tax we have been left in this position because the Government has again failed to put in place a sustainable and reasonable way to fund the local Government services that we all rely on each day.

"In recent weeks the Conservative-run Northamptonshire County Council has had to ban all spending as it has effectively run out of money and other councils are likely to follow in the next year. That shows the scale of the funding crisis the Government has left local Government with, including their own Conservative-run councils.

"Through careful financial management, Chesterfield Borough Council is not in that position but the grant we receive from the Government next year will be £6m lower than it was in 2010, which is a cut of 59.5 per cent.

"That means that we continue to have to find savings and generate additional income to fill that void and in the next financial year we need to find another £200,000 savings."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "Our finance settlement strikes a balance between relieving growing pressure on local Government while ensuring that hard-pressed taxpayers do not face excessive bills.

"We have listened to representations made from councils and delivered on these with extra funding.

"Overall councils will see a real-term increase in resources over the next two years, more freedom and fairness and with a greater certainty to plan and secure value for money.

"We are also delivering on our commitment to give councils more control over the business rates they raise locally - with millions of pounds staying in communities and being spent on local priorities.

"We want to work with local Government to develop a new funding system for the future and encourage councils to submit responses to the review currently under way."

Where does your council tax go?

Chesterfield Borough Council receives only 10 per cent of council tax paid by residents.

Derbyshire County Council receives 74 per cent, Derbyshire Constabulary gets 11 per cent and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service receives five per cent.

Residents in Staveley and Brimington also pay for services provided by their town and parish councils.