Council Tax ProposalsPublished Wednesday, 20th February 2019
Melton Borough Council will formally consider its Council Tax for 2019/20 at the meeting of the Council on 27th February, 2019.
The council has lost grant from the government of £919k between 2015/16 and 2019/20, which is a 41% reduction in the main grant the council receives from the government. This is in addition to previous reductions of £1.9m or 57% over the period 2010/11 to 2015/16. The Government are undertaking a fairer funding review around how councils are funded in the future which could have a significant impact on the council’s financial position moving forward.
The Leader of the Council, Joe Orson, said:
“The council has continued to manage its finances well against a background of reduced government grant but looking forward, it is facing at shortfall in funding and also uncertainty around the outcome of the fairer funding review. While we remain committed to continue to invest in our priorities, we shall also be working with officers to deliver the savings and efficiencies required to balance the budget in the coming years. This includes developing further the council’s commercial aspirations to generate addition income to manage the reduction in core government funding”
In order to help rural councils such as Melton manage the cuts in grant, the Government is allowing them to increase their average Council Tax by an increased rate of up to 3% a year. Due to ongoing funding pressures Melton Borough Council have approved a 2.99% average increase in Council Tax for borough council purposes in order to support the continued delivery of key services. This is an increase of £5.88 per annum or just under 12p per week in an average Band D property. Despite the challenging financial situation the council has been able to re-commit to its priorities to support an increase in local housing growth and job creation, as well as focusing our efforts on town centre improvements and tourism. The budget will also deliver an increase in funding in a number of key areas, including physical activity and environmental health, as well as additional legal support to help deliver the council’s increased focus in tackling anti-social behavior and environmental crime
Given the significant loss of funding over the last few years, the council cannot sustain everything and to maintain the focus on key priorities, have had to re-direct funding from lower priority areas. A number of reductions in community grants have been approved however the council has and will continue to work with the affected groups to support them and identify alternative sources of funding, for example, through the Melton Community Lottery. The council has also reviewed the way in which Civic arrangements are delivered with the future focus on a number of core events for the Mayor organised by the council and greater emphasis being placed on supporting community activity.
Even within the changes in Council Tax the council is still looking at a shortfall in funding for 2019/20 and has had to call on reserves in order to balance the budget. Whilst this isn’t sustainable in the long term the decision to use reserves has been taken as a temporary solution whilst the uncertainty regarding future funding is resolved and the council continues to explore opportunities to become more commercial.
For more information please contact:
Melton Borough Council
Telephone: 01664 502 444
- More articles in the news archive