No increase planned for Wealden’s share of council tax

Wealden District Council is not planning to increase its share of council tax for the next financial year 2021/2022.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 5:21 pm
Cllr Bob Standley, leader of Wealden District Council

Like other councils across the country, Wealden has faced extra pressure on its finances during the pandemic.

However leader Bob Standley said they would meet next year’s extra costs from reserves, which was possible due to ‘many years of careful financial management’ as this was the ‘rainy day we have prepared for’.

He described how it had been a ‘difficult year for everyone’, adding: “I am pleased to propose that there will no increase in Wealden District Council’s part of council tax in 2021/22 which makes up approximately ten per cent of the total.

“As well as using our reserves, we will be following the Government’s recommendations on public sector pay. Naturally, councillors’ allowances will also be kept at current levels for 2021/22.

“I know that many households across the district have seen their incomes affected by the Covid pandemic. I hope this is one of a number of pieces of good news we can look forward to in 2021.

“The Covid pandemic has increased the responsibilities for the council while at the same time reducing the amount of money we are able to earn from our many services. We have responded well. We have taken on new roles delivering financial support across the local economy and looking after those in our community in need of assistance.

“The additional costs of extra services, coupled with the loss of income from our own services, means we are some £500,000 out of pocket. We are hoping this gap will narrow further as further help from the Government becomes available.”

The cabinet proposal will now go out to consultation with the public, local business groups, parish and town councils and the Wealden Local Strategic Partnership. To find out more visit www.wealden.gov.uk/consultations/

A final decision on Wealden’s budget for 2021/22 will be taken in February.

Other precepting authorities are East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue as well as town and parish councils.