Council agrees to first tax rise in five years

No Caption ABCDE PNL-150720-120710001
No Caption ABCDE PNL-150720-120710001

Wealden District Council has decided to increase the Wealden share of this year’s council tax by 1.9 per cent.

“This is the first increase after five years, and it will see Wealden’s share of resident’s council tax bills increase to £3.41 a week for a Band D property – which is excellent value for money,” said Councillor Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden District Council.

“The increase will be 6.5 pence a week for that Band D property.

“In recent years, Wealden has reduced its running costs by 25 per cent while also moving to becoming self funding as central government grants are reduced to balance the nation’s finances.

“The Medium Term Financial Strategy covers the period to 2020/21 and requires further cost reductions of around £1 million.”

Wealden is the largest district in East Sussex. As well as providing housing, environmental health, planning, building control, refuse and recycling, economic development, tourism and council tax benefits, the district council is working increasingly with other organisations to improve public health and road safety, support local retailers and businesses and help protect natural and community assets.

The council is setting up a Revolving Infrastructure Fund which will make more than £5 million of capital investments in infrastructure projects across the district in 2016/17.

This will be replenished by developer contributions from the new Community Infrastructure Levy and the New Homes Bonus in the coming years.

Councillor Standley welcomed the additional funding the Council has received from central Government for the next two years to help cover the extra cost of delivering services to rural areas.

He said: “We are one of the most rural districts in the South East. The extra cost of supplying services to rural areas has been overlooked for many years and I welcome the review in the way future funding will be distributed which is much appreciated and long overdue.”

Wealden District Council also collects the council tax for a number of other authorities including East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police.

The average amount of council tax a Band D property in Wealden can expect to pay is broken down as follows:

• East Sussex County Council - £1,251.90

• Wealden District Council - £177.44

• Sussex Police - £148.91

• East Sussex Fire & Rescue - £86.72

• Average Parish/Town council - £93.22

Total - £1,758.19

Wealden residents who are concerned about their finances are encouraged to contact the East Sussex Benefit Helpline by phone on 0333 3440681 or by emailing benefitseastsussex@harcuk.com for independent advice.

This service is provided on behalf of East Sussex County Council in partnership with Wealden District Council.

If you are having difficulties paying your council tax and want to know if you might qualify for our Council Tax Reduction Scheme, please contact Wealden’s Benefits service by emailing benefits@wealden.gov.uk or telephone 01323 443500.

A page of Frequently Asked Questions about the Council Tax Reduction Scheme can be found on the Wealden web site.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.sussexexpress.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Sussex-Express/

3) Follow us on Twitter @sussex_express

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Sussex Express - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.