Derbyshire Dales council asks for residents' views on plans for tax hike

Derbyshire Dales District Council has been asking residents and businesses to have their say on its tax and spending plans before councillors meet to confirm the budget for the next financial year.

By Ed Dingwall
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 9:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 9:55 am

The full council will meet at Matlock Town Hall on Thursday, March 3, to consider proposals from the executive and corporate officers.

On the one hand, the council is not intending cuts to any services in 2022/23, but councillors will consider a proposal to increase the district’s component of Council Tax bills by 1.94 per cent – an average of 8p per week for a property in tax band D.

The increase is below the rate of inflation, but that may come as little relief to households already struggling with the cost of living crisis.

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Is the time right for a rise in Council Tax?

There is likely to be at least some opposition in the chamber, with Peter O’Brien, an independent councillor representing Hathersage and Eyam ward, having already called for a tax freeze to help struggling households.

He has said: “I hope my fellow councillors will recognise the hardship our residents are facing, confronted by this avalanche of rising prices.

“Keeping our Council Tax the same will play a small but important part in easing the burden. And in view of the poor refuse collection service they have had to endure, it will also show that we are prepared to offer some meaningful compensation.”

Although the district is responsible for collecting Council Tax on behalf of other levels of local government, the police and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue, it only keeps and spends around 11 per cent of the total on the services it is responsible for.

The tax increase would raise around £130,000, with the council promising to spend an extra £150,000 on economic development projects over the year, in the hope of stimulating growth.

Tax income from residents will fund 38 per cent of the council’s £18.2million revenue budget for the year, with sales, fees and charges (46 per cent) the biggest contributor, followed by Business Rates (seven per cent) and Government Grants (nine per cent).

A brief summary of the budget is available at derbyshiredales.gov.uk/spendingplans, and a more detailed version at https://bit.ly/3ImTHRi. To submit feedback, write to [email protected] with the subject heading ‘budget consultation’.