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Preston council tax bills to rise and the latest on council financial position

Posted on - 12th February, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Inside the council chamber at Preston Town Hall
Inside the council chamber at Preston Town Hall

Council tax bills for Preston homeowners look set to rise from April.

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Preston City Council is raising its share of the council tax bill by 2.99 per cent.

This will see a Band D property charged £314.50 for the city council’s share of council tax – this will see the total once Lancashire County Council, police and parish council precepts added total £1,845 for the annual bill.

Central government states councils cannot raise council tax bills by more than 3 per cent without calling a referendum.

Reports to the city council’s cabinet say the financial forecast for the authority is ‘showing an improved position’, as a result of new housing being built in the city yielding a greater return of council tax.

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Officers also note ‘the government has reversed its decision to introduce ‘negative revenue support grant’, which left the city council £133,000 better off.

Unknowns for the year ahead for the city’s financial forecast include the impact of Brexit and how the government’s ‘Fair Funding review’ will affect the council’s level of business rates its allowed to maintain.

Papers to the city’s cabinet show there’s no savings proposed by the city council for the next financial year.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “There are no savings proposed in this budget other than the use of reserves to reduce borrowing.

“However there are savings declared in previous budgets which are scheduled to be achieved in this year, the main one being Management restructure £119k in 2019-20 rising to £219k in 2020/21.”

Reports also indicate there will be redundancies during the 2019-20 financial year but the city council says it is not known how many jobs will go at this stage.

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Cabinet member for resources and performance, councillor Martyn Rawlinson, said: “Despite the challenge of diminishing resources, we remain committed to providing high standards of service.

“We will continue to ensure we can protect important front line services and deliver the best possible value for money to taxpayers.”

You can see the full documents on the council’s finances on the city council website.

What do you think about the council tax rise? What do you think about the council’s financial position? Let us know in the comments below

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