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Explanation Of Council Tax Rise In The East Riding

Money - New Notes and Coins

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jack Muscutt at 10:56am 11th February 2019.

If you are an adult living on your own or a rented property in the East Riding, chances are you will have to pay council tax.

The council has now confirmed you will pay 2.9 per cent more tax this year than you did in 2017/2018.

East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby has described the financial plans as “sound” and with “no hidden agenda or surprises” after presenting his last budget speech before he steps down after 23 years in charge.

He said that the council has had to make £169m worth of savings since 2010 due to funding cuts and an increasing pressures on services, which has led to a rise in costs.

With this in mind, we take a closer look at some of the key parts of this year’s budget – including how much money is available, where it is being spent and how much you will have to pay.

How big is the council’s budget ?

East Riding Council expects to receive £269.5m in government grants and retained business rates in the coming financial year.

The authority has agreed on a ‘balanced budget’ – meaning that it will spend the exact same amount raised from these grants on delivering services and staff pay in 2019-20.

What services will the money be spent on ?

It is perhaps no surprise that the biggest spending departments at the council for the next financial year include adult social care (£97.5m) and the safeguarding of children (£48.4m).

A total of £40.1m is earmarked for spending on “communities and environment”, which includes maintaining roads, waste collection, public transport and on protection against flooding.

A further £28.8m will be spent on “corporate resources” – such as IT services, finance management and delivering the council budget, with £31.2m going on ‘planning and economic regeneration.’

What specific projects will the council be working on?

In his budget speech, Councillor Parnaby set out a number of “key priorities” for the upcoming year.  These include:

  • £50m on improvements to the Jock’s Lodge junction
  • £10.8m investment in extending South Cliff Caravan Park in Bridlington
  • £4.9m on a flood alleviation scheme in Pocklington, as well as similar schemes in Cottingham and Orchard Park

Further investment is promised for both the leisure centre and boat compound at Hornsea, while the Humber Bridge Country Park will is also set to be improved.

How much will you be paying for council services?

From April 2019, you will be paying between £27 and £83 more for your council tax, depending on which property band you are in.

Most households in the region live in properties listed as Band D or below, and so the majority of residents face a rise of up to £42 on their annual bill.

Council tax figures for 2019-20 (minus the police and fire services)

Band A – £963.13 (increase: £27.96)

Band B – £1,123.65 (£32.62)

Band C – £1,284.17 (£37.28)

Band D – £1,444.69 (£41.94

Band E – £1,765.73 (£51.26)

Band F – £2,086.77 (£60.57)

Band G – £2,407.82 (£69.90)

Band H – £2,889.38 (£83.88)

How much will you have to pay for police and fire services?

Separate charges are levied for police and fire services, on top of charges for the running of council services.

Earlier this month, the Humberside Police and Crime Panel announced a rise of £16 for Band A properties to £148.88 per year and an increase of £24 for Band D households.

Meanwhile, Humberside Fire Authority will be confirming its own rates on Monday 11 February. These will then be added to the overall council tax bill – alongside the council and police figures.

Why is the increase being limited to 2.9 per cent ?

The government has set a limit of three per cent for council tax increases across England.

If any council wants to charge more it has to hold a referendum on whatever higher charge it is putting forward.

There is one exception – councils can increase council tax by a further three per cent to fund adult social care – but East Riding Council exercised this option in last year’s 5.9 per cent increase.

What risks are there in terms of future government funding ?

There are concerns that local authority budgets for 2019/20 are being supported by a large amounts of ‘one-off’ government funding. This brings in to question where this funding will come from in the future.

Also, this coming year is the last of a four-year funding deal with Whitehall – called the “four-year settlement offer” – which provides “top-up” funding in addition to the business rates the council collects.

Ministers want future funding to come from business rates and council tax instead of central government.

With the settlement scheme coming to an end next year, details of what will replace it are thin on the ground, which is sure to create great levels of uncertainly in terms of future budgeting for local authorities.

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