Adur council tax rise is approved

Council tax bills from Adur District Council will rise by 2.97 per cent in April.

Councillors at the meeting last night
Councillors at the meeting last night

The rise, which equates to an increase of 17p a week per household, was agreed by councillors on Adur District Council at a meeting last night.

The increase means a Band D property will pay £299.43 towards district council services next year – the equivalent of £5.76 a week.

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In addition to the district council increase (£5.88 a year - Band D household), the office of the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner has increased bills by 14.2 per cent (£24 a year - Band D) while West Sussex County Council had increased its bill by 4.99 per cent (£66 a year - Band D) taking its annual total to £1,384 a year, a council spokesman said.

Taxpayers in both Lancing and Sompting will also pay an additional sum, which will go towards their parish councils.

All increases come into effect from April 1.

With the government reducing funding to the council by 12 per cent in the next financial year, the authority continues to move towards a ‘self-funding’ model, a report to councillors stated.

Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said at the meeting: “We are all aware of the financial challenges facing this council but I have never allowed that to curb our ambitions.

“This includes our ambition to see investment across the district, our ambition to work with partners to address homelessness while building homes, and our ambition to ensure we are making a positive contribution to protecting our environment for future generations.

“This budget furthers that ambition, while taking prudent and responsible steps that protect the services our communities value.”

The majority of councillors voted to approve the budget, with the eight Labour councillors voting against it.

Councillor Les Alden, leader of the Labour group on Adur District Council, said the group wanted to make a protest about county council cuts and Government cuts.

He said there was a provision of £220,000 to make up for the county council cuts which left ‘no slack’ to make other changes.

For this reason, the group did not table any amendments, but voted against the spending plans, he said.

A council spokesman said the spending plans for next year include extra funding for homelessness (£270,000) and a major refurbishment programme of Adur Homes properties.

Funding will also be provided to continue investment schemes such as the building of new council houses, the regeneration of the western harbour arm of Shoreham Port and the installation of gigabit broadband to residents and businesses across the district, the spokesman said.

The budget also allocates funding to invest in open spaces and playgrounds (£365,000), refurbish public conveniences (£150,000) and grants to support community and arts groups across the district.