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Council tax increase to be discussed at full council meeting

Published Friday 11 February, 2022
Last updated on Friday 11 February, 2022

Swale Borough Council is facing major financial pressures due to covid costs, uncertainty around Government funding, increased expenditure, such as the rising cost of homelessness and loss of income on items such as car parking.

Even so, the Cabinet is able to present to Full Council on Wednesday, 23 February a budget that is balanced and which will require an increase in council tax of less than 10p a week for Swale services.

If approved, the increase would mean for a Band D household an annual bill of £189.27 for the Swale part of the council tax bill.

Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of the council, said:

“In line with Government expectations and the position of many other councils, we will be using some of our savings to balance the budget. We had already created a reserve of £2 million and we will use £1.65 million of that in this difficult year.

“Our current budget for the next financial year shows a gap of £1.65 million, but thanks to sound financial management since the pandemic began, we will meet the deficit with council reserves and government grants.

“Despite the financial implications of the pandemic, I believe we owe it to Swale residents to make improvements across the borough and we’ll continue to use our reserves to encourage growth and recovery in the borough.”

Charges for Swale Borough Council services are only one element of the final council tax bill residents receive. Swale is responsible for collecting council tax on behalf of Kent County Council, Kent Police and the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, as well as town and parish councils, where they exist.

Swale receives around 10 per cent of the overall council tax bill, with Kent County Council receiving around 73 per cent, Kent Police around 11 per cent, the fire service four per cent and parishes the remaining two per cent.

Council tax bands range from the lowest, A, to the highest, H, and any proposed changes affect them all comparatively. Band D is used nationwide as an example to give an average example.

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