Filton Band D council tax to rise by £7 per month
There will be no rise in the Filton Town Council precept, as reported in Filtonvoice last month.
by BBC LDRS staff and Filtonvoice
Council tax bills in South Gloucestershire will rise by nearly three per cent from April.
The increase, comprising 1.99 per cent for general services and one per cent for adult social care, means the local authority’s element for a Band D property will be £1,668.64, up by £48.45 on the current year, or 93p extra a week.
However there will be no rise in the Filton Town Council precept, as reported in Filtonvoice last month.
Band D property owners will again pay £318.20 per year for Filton Town Council services.
The final bill will also include a £10 annual increase for Avon & Somerset Police and £1.52 more for Avon Fire & Service.
This means the monthly bill for a Band D property, paid over 10 months, will be around £230 ... up from approx £222 this year.
It was approved unanimously at a full council meeting on Wednesday evening (February 16) along with the annual budget, which includes more money for street cleaning, school buildings, roads and potholes, and children’s services.
£4.5million from the capital programmes will be allocated to extend Abbeywood Community School.
Opposition groups secured extra funding to help retrofit homes and reduce waiting times for therapy for sex attack victims from up to 42 months down to three.
The Conservative administration’s budget keeps parking free at council-run car parks in the district, with a review of charges at Kings Chase shopping centre, which the authority bought last year, while a new park will be created in Cadbury Heath to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
But while frontline services are protected, it also includes £9.5million of cutbacks in 2022/23 and £23.6million over the next four years, including staff redundancies, higher pest control fees and the end of subsidies for the HandyVan repairs service for older and disabled residents.
Almost £260million will be spent on South Gloucestershire Council day-to-day services, plus £140.5million on capital projects, over the next 12 months.
Street cleaning teams will receive an additional £639,000, more than £12million will go on road repairs, £15.3million extra for children’s services amid ongoing criticism from Ofsted that vulnerable youngsters are at risk, and there will be a £1million prevention fund to help people stay healthier for longer.
Schools will share an additional £7.3million from increased government funding, up by 6.6 per cent from 2021/22 to £191million for the coming year, with spending on pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) rising by £5million.
The council is also ploughing £47million from its capital programme into the school estate, including nearly £5million on a new sixth form, maths and science block at Castle School in Thornbury, £3.7million for improvements at Marlwood School, Alveston, and £4.5million to extend Abbeywood Community School.
Council leader Conservative Cllr Toby Savage said: “We want to secure our area’s future prosperity through investment in transport and infrastructure, schools and continued action to play our part in responding to the climate and environmental emergencies.
“Support for people in financial difficulties through our community resilience fund and our £1million commitment to preventing health issues by helping people to help themselves live healthier lives are just some of the features of this budget.
“I am really pleased that we have been able to achieve all of this while limiting the annual council tax rise to well below inflation in a demonstration of our commitment to delivering value for money as well as excellent services to our residents.”
The 2.99 per cent council tax rise is the maximum permitted by the Government this year without the need for a local referendum, and was originally proposed in the autumn to be 3.99 per cent for South Gloucestershire householders before Whitehall imposed the limit.
Both opposition groups tabled budget amendments which were approved unanimously following negotiations, and some changes, before the meeting at Kingswood civic centre.
Labour secured £7,300 from reserves for 10 more climate change workshops in schools and £75,000 from the newly created £1million prevention fund to ensure 50 victims of rape and sexual assault will receive therapy within three months rather than up to three-and-a-half years.
Group leader Cllr Pat Rooney said: “Our budget proposals will have an immediate impact for some of our most vulnerable victims of sexual assault and rape, and in the medium to longer term the workshops we have agreed will give potentially lifesaving advice on how to cope with the real threat of catastrophic climate change.”
The Lib Dems secured an extra £110,000 to help residents reduce their carbon footprints and energy bills.
They scaled back their original amendment to cut £45,000 a year from the council’s PR budget – what group leader Cllr Claire Young called “replacing Conservative spin with action” – to employ a permanent extra domestic retrofit officer.
Cllr Young told the meeting: “Our repeated calls for more funding for climate action are finally hitting home. We hope the leader is now grasping that it is a genuine emergency requiring urgent action.”