Council Tax set for 2017/18

At South Somerset District Council's recent Full Council meeting, Councillors agreed to a 3.28% increase on the district council element of council tax.

The figure means that a Band D property will pay an additional £5.00 over the year for all district council services - working out as just 9.62 pence extra per week.

Together with the 1.99% PCC for Avon and Somerset Police rise, 1.99% Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority rise and 3.99% Somerset County Council rise, the decision will result in an overall 3.57%, or £53.29*, rise in the council tax bill for an average Band D property in South Somerset.

For all public services - including the parish and town councils - the average Band D household will pay £1630.38** for all public services over the year.

The Government has reduced the support grant it gives to councils and will eliminate the Revenue Support Grant completely by 2019.  For SSDC this means an immediate funding cut of £0.9m and by 2020/21, total savings of £4.7m will be required, including an annual tariff of £330,000 which has to be handed back to central government for redistribution.

In addition to the proposed tax rise, the Council is embarking on an ambitious transformation programme which will save £2 million from operating costs over the next three years.  New income will also have to be generated by embracing a more commercial approach.

Councillor Peter Seib, Portfolio Holder for Finance at South Somerset District Council commented, ""The Government now wants South Somerset to fund its services locally and is removing Revenue Support Grant very quickly.

"Council staff are already working hard on a major transformation to the way in which we work that will reduce back-office costs significantly over two years, and we are also seeking new income through commercial projects. Even so, to balance the budget we have had to both draw down reserves and increase tax.

"People have told us very clearly on the doorstep and in surveys that they value the services and support they receive from SSDC, and that they would rather spend a little more, if it stops those being cut. On that basis, there was cross-party support for the budget.

"What has knocked us for six is the new tariff from 2019/20 of £330,000 annually, which we will have to collect locally and send back to central government for redistribution. That seems a very unfair deal for a rural area."

SSDC collects council tax on behalf of all of the local precepting authorities. The individual amounts, based on a Band D property, are as follows:

Precepting authority:

2016/17

£

2017/18

£

Increase

%

South Somerset District Council 152.48 157.48 3.28
Somerset County Council (SCC) 1060.84 1082.36 3.99
SCC Adult Social Care 20.80 42.43 (included above)
PCC for Avon & Somerset 178.26 181.81 1.99
Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority 79.98 81.57 1.99
*Total excluding parishes 1492.36 1545.65 3.57
Average of Town/Parish precepts 77.60 84.73 9.19
**Total including average parishes 1569.96 1630.38 3.85

 

Parish precepts vary. For more information see the Full Council agenda in the Councillors and Meetings section at www.southsomerset.gov.uk.