Swale Borough Council’s share of the council tax will be frozen for the sixth year in a row.
The freeze comes after councillors last night (Wednesday) approved the council’s budget for 2016/17.
This means a typical Band D household in the borough will continue to pay just £159.93 a year – £3.08 a week – for council services such as waste and recycling collection, street cleaning, park maintenance and housing support.
Cllr Duncan Dewar-Whalley, cabinet member for finance at the council, said:
“I’m delighted that we have again been able to avoid asking local people to pay any more for the services we provide.
“For slightly more than three pounds a week, we are not only continuing to provide services, but in some cases – such as litter enforcement and recycling – improving those local people think are important.
“By constantly looking better ways of working, and keeping a tight control on spending, we have been able to agree a balanced budget despite a reduction in the money we receive from central government.
“Ours is the only element of people’s bills that won’t be rising, which goes to show how hard we’ve had to work.
The budget includes details of savings worth £517,060 for 2016/17, such as:
· savings from a more efficient waste contract,
· reduced need for emergency accommodation by providing a council-owned alternative,
· savings from improved customer services processes.
As well as cost savings the other key area in balancing the budget is generating more income. The council will benefit from an increased take up of the garden waste collection service, increased planning fee income and payments from neighbouring councils for the shared legal services team.
Charges for Swale Borough Council services are only one element of the final council tax bill residents receive. This also includes charges for Kent County Council, Kent Police, Kent & Medway Fire and Rescue Service and parish or town councils. These are set by the respective organisations and are collected on their behalf by Swale.