Wealden plans council tax increase

Wealden District Council is proposing to increase council tax by 1.9% in the year 2016/7.

This is the equivalent of seven pence a week more for residents living in the average Band D tax property, taking the average amount paid for Wealden services to £3.41 a week (£175.32 a year). wealden-district-council-un

The final council tax figure for Wealden residents will also include precepts for services from Uckfield Town Council, East Sussex County Council, police and fire services.

Uckfield Town Council was previously considering a 15% increase in its share of council tax but shaved £73,000 from its spending plans at a meeting last week.

The average paid by Uckfield residents for town council services is currently £146.66 a year.

A consultation on Wealden’s proposals for the district is under way and the results will be considered by its cabinet at a meeting on 27 January 2016. A budget recommendation is due to go to full council on February 24, 2016.

Wealden is still waiting to hear how much money it can expect from central government but is expecting a cut of 14%, to be followed by a larger cut in the following year.

Council leader Bob Standley said: “We have been able to freeze council tax for the past five years with the support from Government but we need to make an increase in council tax this year to maintain the high level of service to residents.

“Over the next three years, we will be looking for further savings or income generation of up to £1 million towards the annual cost of running the council.

“This will enable us to be self-sufficient using council tax and business rates to provide our wide range of services.”

Services provided by Wealden District Council include housing, refuse and recycling collection, planning control, environmental protection, housing and council tax benefits, licencing, public health, economic development and  pollution control.

The consultation on budget proposals closes on January 24.

Cllr Standley said Wealden was making infrastructure improvements a priority with a £2 million underspend being transferred into the council’s new revolving infrastructure fund.

He said: “The amount of new housing outlined in the Local Plan, particularly in the south of Wealden, will need to be supported by better roads and transport connections as well as education, care and health facilities.

“Money we put in now will be replaced in the future by contributions from developers through the new Community Infrastructure Levy.

“I have spoken to many people during the current Local Plan consultation and they share our concerns about the importance of getting the right infrastructure in place.”

The council is expecting to spend £3 million on infrastructure in the current financial year including the provision of SANGS open space recreation areas to be created in the north of the district, which will allow development already planned to take place. Further contributions to the infrastructure fund will be made in later years.

See also:

Uckfield Town Council cuts 2016/17 spending plans by £73,000

Uckfield Line train times: a few changes

Universal Dance prize is a year of free dance classes

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com



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