St Helens Council Tax Rise Set To Move Closer

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 3:41pm

By Kenny Lomas - Local Democracy Reporter

A council tax rise is due to be agreed “in principle” this week.

Like in previous years, local authorities will be allowed to raise council tax by 4.99 per cent – including a 2 per cent social care precept – from April.

Councils are being given the power to raise taxes to offset shrinking grant funding from central government.

On Wednesday, St Helens Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve, “in principle”, a 2.99 per cent council tax rise for 2019-20.

This will be subject to a public consultation.

A cabinet report confirms there will be no additional increases to the adult social care precept as it was already raised by 3 per cent in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.

The report says overall grant reductions since 2010 are “extremely significant” and have placed “enormous pressure” on council services.

By 2020, the council will have seen funding cuts totalling £90 million over the ten-year-period.

The report says: “Such reductions in resources have had significant impacts on the services the council provides as it seeks to deliver its responsibilities and the discretionary services most valued by the residents of the borough.”

The draft local government finance settlement, which sets out the annual determination of funding to local government, was published in December.

Based on the provisional settlement, St Helens Council is set to see its revenue support grant slashed by a further £5 million in 2019-20.

However, James Brokenshire, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, said core spending power is forecast to increase from £45.1 billion in 2018-19 to £46.4 billion in 2019-20.

A consultation paper on the provisional local government finance settlement is due to close on January 10.

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