Council tax to rise to nearly £2,000 ... but town council precept less than expected

March 04 2019
Council tax to rise to nearly £2,000 ... but town council precept less than expected

Filton residents are facing a lower increase in the town council precept than originally proposed, with the average household set to pay £8.99 more.

Filton residents are facing a lower increase in the town  council precept than originally proposed, with the average household set to pay £8.99 more.
This is on top of the South Glos increase of 2.99%, making the total average council tax bill in Filton, once fire and police precepts are added, nearly £2,000 a year, up from £1,917 last year.
The Filton precept rise - which pays for town council services - has been set at 4.05%. A counter proposal by Cllr Alan Tink for a 2.5% rise was rejected by a majority of councillors.
For the year, the Filton element of Council Tax will be approximately £225.
In December, it was proposed that the precept would rise by 7.5% (£15/year) but accountant Derek Kemp, having looked at three more months of accounts, said he was confident a budget could be set with just the 4.05% rise.
He said it was "realistic, representative and achievable."
He added that the cost savings measures recently introduced at the leisure centre would have a benefit.
Earlier in the financial year, budgets were under pressure due to sickness and absence among leisure centre staff.
Mr Kemp added that revenue from public swimming was reduced due to demand for swimming lessons.
He said: "As long as the measures that have already been put in place are continued to be implemented it's sustainable."
He added that ongoing measures to build back reserves to £160,000 would take two years.
Cllr Tink said that residents were finding it hard to pay council tax and that '70% of people don't use the leisure centre'.
Cllr Adam Monk said he doesn't use adult social care but he still expects to pay for it for others.
Cllr Ian Scott Chair Filton Town Council Finance and General Purposes Committee, said: "We will continue to try to keep costs down and maximise income and I am pleased we are supporting the youth service in Filton provided by FACE after they had lost South Gloucestershire Council funding."
Filton's council tax is normally the highest in South Glos due to the leisure centre charges.
Meanwhile South Gloucestershire Council will spend almost £221 million on services next year, after the Budget was agreed last month. The spending plans also include a further £208 million that will be distributed to schools.
The Budget sets out how the Council will spend £220.992 million in the coming year. This includes an increase in Council Tax of 2.99 per cent, which will be used to support continued delivery of services.
The South Gloucestershire Council element of Council Tax for a Band D property for 2019/20 will be £1,484.15.
The Budget papers show that while the Council’s finances are projected to remain in balance for the coming two years, this is only by using reserves set aside for this purpose.
The new National Funding Formula will see schools funding for South Gloucestershire increase by £3.9 million next year, bringing our Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) to a total of £207.953 million.
However, despite this funding increase, the council still receives the lowest per-pupil funding in the country, while at the same time both locally and nationally, the demand for help for children with additional needs is growing significantly.