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Cherwell’s first Council Tax increase in a decade

Council Tax to rise for Cherwell residents.

Residents will pay £5 a year more towards their district council services as Cherwell District Council announces its first Council Tax rise in 10 years.

The new Council Tax rate was agreed at the full council meeting on Monday, 25 February. It reflects the fact that grant funding from central Government has decreased and will cease altogether from April 2020.

Council agreed an overall budget of £22.7m to deliver all of Cherwell’s services, including waste and recycling collections, leisure centres, planning and street cleansing. Cllr Barry Wood, leader of the council, will be writing to all residents when the annual Council Tax bill goes out to provide more information about the tax setting and to explain where Cherwell’s portion of the money goes.

Cllr Tony Ilott, Cherwell’s lead member for finance, said:

“Cherwell has offered year after year of real-terms tax cuts since 2009. We’ve been able to do that because we believe in ensuring our own house is in order before passing costs onto residents.

“But operating as a financially sound council means being realistic and accounting for the fact that the Government grant is shrinking and will stop completely next year.

“Our tax increase is under 10 pence per week for a Band D property. It’s not a decision we take lightly, but it keeps us on a firm footing and guarantees that we can continue to deliver high-quality services to our residents.”

During the forthcoming financial year, Cherwell’s share of Council Tax will be set at £128.50 for a Band D property.

Cherwell will be sending out the 2019 to 2020 Council Tax bills from 12 March. Of the money charged, Cherwell will retain 6.8 per cent. The remainder will be split between Oxfordshire County Council, which takes 77.3 per cent; Thames Valley Police, which keeps 10.9 per cent; and town and parish councils which are paid the remaining five per cent.

Residents can choose to pay their bill either annually, over ten months until January 2020, or over 12 months until March 2020. Payments can be made by direct debit, over the telephone, at a bank, or by using any of Cherwell District Council’s Link Points.

Further comment:

Labour group leader Councillor Sean Woodcock said;

“Having voted to increase residents’ Council Tax out of apparent necessity, it is frankly staggering that the Conservatives voted to increase their own allowances. Asking residents to put their hand in their pockets while councillors pocket more, shows a an authority that is out of touch.”

Members allowances were voted on for an increase at a meeting of Cherwell District Council this evening, 25/2/2019. The Labour group voted against the increase.

Labour response to Cherwell District Council Budget 2019/20

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