‘Decision was not taken lightly’ – North Herts council tax bill set to rise

Council tax is set to rise following a meeting at North Herts District Council's offices in Letchwor

Council tax is set to rise following a meeting at North Herts District Council's offices in Letchworth. - Credit: Archant

Taxpayers are braced for a rise in their council tax bills this year after a vote to increase North Herts District Council’s slice of the annual bill by nearly two per cent.

Councillors agreed in favour of a 1.9 per cent rise for the financial year 2015/16 at a full council meeting last week.

The decision follows a government funding axe of 6.7 per cent for the coming financial year.

A spokesman for the district council said: “Since 2010, the council has made savings totalling more than £6 million with no detrimental impact on frontline services and further efficiencies are planned for 2015/16.

“However, with the uncertainty a general election brings and indications government support is to continue to fall, it will be a challenge.


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“The total tax collected is shared between authorities including the police, Herts County Council and parish councils, with the share of the district authority amounting to 13 per cent.

“The 1.9 per cent increase agreed by the district council amounts to £3.81 a year on the 2014/15 figure for a Band D property.”

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County Hall and the police have yet to confirm their budgets but if they don’t increase, the total Band D bill in a non-parish area would be £1,474.66 – a 0.26 per cent increase on the total bill.

Letchworth councillor Terry Hone, who is responsible for finance at the district council, said: “The council’s decision to increase its portion of council tax by 1.9 per cent was not taken lightly.

“Our budgets are being continually squeezed and a rise by just over 1p per day ensures we can continue to provide the services most valued by residents.”

Labour group leader Judi Billing said: “The 1.9 per cent rise is probably inevitable if we wish to keep services at their current level – but such rises in the future are not the answer to maintain local government services in North Herts.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group Steve Jarvis added: “There is absolutely no justification for putting up council tax by nearly two per cent.”

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