Wealden residents asked to take part in six-week consultation over tax increases

Residents in Wealden are being asked to take part in a six-week consultation over an increase in council tax.

Last year Wealden District Council (WDC) announced a council tax freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year WDC is proposing a 2.53 per cent increase on council tax bills from 2022/23, which is equivalent to £5 a year for a Band D property.

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The six-week consultation launched this month following approval by the council’s cabinet committee. It will run until January 20.

Tax rises in Wealden

WDC’s share of the council tax bill is 10 per cent and the money helps pay for refuse and recycling collections, planning, street cleaning, environmental protection and free car parking.

The remaining 90 per cent is distributed among East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service as well as local parish/town councils.

Council leader Bob Standley said, “Nobody wants council tax to rise but a £5 a year increase – which equates to 9.6p a week for a Band D property; 20p a week for the highest band and 6p a week for the lowest band – is a reasonable amount to ensure we deliver good services to our residents.

“The main reasons for the increases are is that there are financial challenges ahead so we have to be reasonably prudent.”

Councillor Standley said those challenges include having to save £500,000 off its annual budget; uncertainty over business rates; a potential increase in costs due to a rise of planning appeals and possible charges associated with new rules concerning both garden waste and food waste collections.

He said, “We are also investing in projects including Wealden Crematorium and Knights Farm West Employment Park. These projects will take some years to fully deliver but will contribute to the council’s income and help in keeping future council tax increases as low as possible.

”We have been prudent in previous years and it has borne fruit. Wealden council is in a strong position compared to a lot of other authorities across the country which are struggling.”