Wealden residents face a council tax rise

The Wealden District Council offices in Hailsham
The Wealden District Council offices in Hailsham

Wealden District Council’s Cabinet is recommending a council tax increase of £5 a year for Band D properties, with proportional increases for other bands.

In proposing the increase for Wealden’s share of the overall council tax bill, the leader of the council, Bob Standley, said it faces challenging times ahead.

He said: “With central government grants disappearing, the council’s budget will be under pressure and it will have to use some of its reserves to balance the books over the next 12 months.

“The council continues to make savings but is also having to factor in additional costs in readiness for the new waste and recycling contract and increased inflation risks.

“I am all in favour of low taxation, but we have to make sure we can continue to deliver a good standard of services to all our residents.”

Residents, local businesses, parish and town councils are invited to take part in the consultation about the 2018/19 Wealden council tax proposal, which can be found on the consultation pages on the Wealden website.

Cabinet also approved a commercial strategy setting out how the council can improve on its commercial activities in order to prevent the entire burden of increased costs being passed on to the taxpayer.

The council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy is looking to find a further £1.2 million in savings but with a changing age profile – the number of people aged 65 or over in Wealden expected to increase 23 per cent by 2039 – the district council says it faces increased demand for its services.

Its commercial strategy will aim to combine meeting local needs with income generation.

The final decision on the Wealden element of the 2018/19 council tax will be made by Full Council on February 21, 2018.