Cotswold District Council's Cabinet met today and is recommending to council to increase its share of the council tax by 2.9%. This represents an increase of £3.98 per year or 7.5p per week for the average band D council tax payer. The increase is lower than the rate of inflation and the rise in state pensions.
The rise matches Gloucestershire County Council's share of the bill, which is increasing by 2.9% and is lower than the predicted average rise in England of 3.5%.
Cotswold District Council's Cabinet is also proposing to make year on year efficiencies and service savings of £4.7 million over the next three years in a bid to reduce costs. This is on top of savings made in previous years.
Like many other businesses the Council is experiencing financial pressure because of reduced income from services and lower returns on investments. To balance the books Cotswold District Council Cabinet are proposing to make use of budget reserves, which is money they have saved from previous years.
Lynden Stowe, Leader of the Council says:
"We understand that in the current economic climate it's important to the people of the Cotswolds to keep the council tax increase to the minimum. We have also strived to deliver an increase that is lower than inflation, lower than the increase in state pensions and lower than the national average increase in council tax."
"The people of the Cotswolds also expect us to deliver value for money and that's what we're doing by making £4.7 million in efficiencies and savings over the next three years."
"I am disappointed that we as a rural district continue to receive derisory funding from the government with an increase of less than one percent, which makes keeping our costs down even harder."
Source: Cotswold District Council