Gravesham set to agree council tax price hike as central government ‘moves towards self-sufficiency’

By   February 23, 2016

Gravesham council has prooposed a rise in its council tax bill – increasing the average household bill by £4.95 a year.  That will be in addition to this a rise in that of Kent County Council – rising by 3.99 per cent.

Gravesham Borough Council revealed the increase as part of a package of measures designed to secure future finances in the light of the government decision to phase out the support grant to councils. The rise of 9.5p a week for an average Band D property would take Gravesham’s share of the total council tax bill to £186.66 from £181.71.

The council’s leader, Conservative John Cubitt will recommend the rate at the full council on Tuesday (February 23).

The government also imposed a one per cent social housing rent reduction for the coming year. The average council house rent for this year will be cut to £88.84 a week. The council is also planning a ‘property acquisitions strategy’ and will set aside £10m to invest in property long term at an estimated annual return of six per cent to help offset the reduction in government subsidy of £2m a year within four years. Another £10m will be set aside for managed property funds to invest in the property market with a similar return.

Cllr Cubitt said:

“We have to protect the services our residents expect from the council and a rise of less than 1.5p a day represents tremendous value for money. The government expects us to be self-sufficient by 2019-20 and we will be working towards achieving this together with some bold financial measures we are also proposing.”

Cross-post from Kent Online.

 

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