Council Tax to remain lower than the Surrey average “A Budget to safeguard frontline services”
At yesterday’s full council meeting (Thursday 13 February), councillors agreed a 2.5% increase for the borough council portion of the council tax – the increase is equivalent to a rise of £4.95 a year for ‘band D’ properties or just 9.5 pence per week.
The borough portion of the council tax is the smallest element of the council tax, which for 2020/21 includes an increase from Surrey County Council (3.99%) and an increase from Surrey Police (3.84%).
The council tax for 2020/21 for a band D property within Epsom and Ewell will rise to £1,985.34, with the borough council receiving £203.31.
Councillor Eber Kington, chair of the Strategy & Resources committee said “Epsom & Ewell’s Council Tax will remain well below the average in Surrey”
“At the meeting on Thursday, the council received an independent audit which stressed the sound financial management of the borough council.
“76% of residents’ council tax goes to the county council, 14% to Surrey Police but just 10% of council tax is allocated to fund all the services provided by this council.
“We have agreed a budget which, despite ongoing financial pressure, sees no withdrawal of the frontline services on which residents depend and that allows us to continue to invest in in one of the best places to live and work in the country”.
In his speech Councillor Eber Kington pointed out:
- Epsom & Ewell Council have had no Revenue Support Grant since 2016/17
- Following several changes to the formulae our New Homes Bonus has been cut dramatically during that same period.
- Those two grant reductions alone have seen this council’s direct funding from Government since 2016 reduced by over £2.2 million which is down almost 90% from what it was four years ago.
- In addition this Council only retains only 5% of the income it collects from local businesses and redistributes the vast majority of business rates income to be utilised elsewhere within the Country
- This year’s unexpected reduced cap of 2% or £5 on council tax increases before a referendum is triggered is a mystifying blocking mechanism on the one element of funding that is within our own hands to determine
- Yet ironically it is because this Council relies so heavily on council tax, that we are penalise in the annual financial settlement. For our high reliance on council tax is actually a factor used by the Government to claim we are less in need of grant support.
In conclusion Mr Mayor, and as the council papers show:
- Efficiency savings next year of £463k next year
- A balanced budget with no use of reserves
- A council tax rate that will see 76% of every residents council tax bill go to Surrey County Council, 14% of the precept go to Surrey Police BUT just 10% of council tax allocated to fund all the services provided by this council.
- A council tax rate which will see the Borough’s council tax precept remaining one of the lowest in Surrey
- No cuts in services – again
- And Council Tax increase of £4.95p which is a rise of just over 9 pence a week at Band D for all the services provided by the Borough Council.
If you would like to read Councillor Eber Kington speech in full CLICK HERE