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Council tax for 2021/22 to be discussed at next week’s cabinet meeting

Published Wednesday 3 February, 2021
Last updated on Wednesday 3 February, 2021

Band D households in Swale will be asked to pay just £3.54 per week for Swale Borough Council services, if budget plans are approved later this month.

The proposals for Swale’s share of the council tax are being put to the council’s cabinet next week (Wednesday, 10 February) before a final decision is made at full council on 24 February.

If approved, band D households will pay £184.32 a year to the council, a rise of £4.95.

Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of the council, said:

“The revenue budget that funds the core services of the council is under severe pressure. This pressure comes from long-term uncertainty about income from central government, and inevitably, the financial pressures due to the Covid crisis. These include both increased expenditure on areas such as homelessness and loss of income, from for example car parking fees.

“Throughout the current financial year, the Government has given us regular support through Covid related grants and with this and good internal financial management, we have resisted the pressures.

“I believe we can manage the challenges for the next year through the same combination of grants we are to receive and sound control of expenditure.

“We will only be asking for a council tax increase of 9p a week for band D properties, though I am aware that people’s overall charge will be affected by a larger Kent County Council precept.

“These difficult times make it impossible to increase our spending on our core services in any serious way.

“However, I do believe we owe it to Swale residents to make improvements to their borough and this we will do.

“We will be setting up the Rainbow Housing Company to provide more affordable housing, a project which is financially stable.

“Within our robust reserves, there are allocations of funds intended to encourage growth and recovery in the borough, and we shall be using those to help the local economy, our visitor economy, our heritage, our environment and public realm and our local community groups.

“In a sound and responsible way, we can spread benefits to the people of Swale in one-off spends that people need in the recovery from the way we are now having to live.”

Charges for Swale Borough Council services are only one element of the final council tax bill residents receive.

Householders’ council tax bills also include charges for Kent County Council, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent & Medway Fire and Rescue Service, and parish or town councils where these exist. These are set by the respective organisations and are collected on their behalf by Swale.

The cabinet meeting discussing the proposals is on Wednesday, 10 February and the report can be viewed on the council’s website.

For more information about council tax, visit www.swale.gov.uk/council-tax.

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