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Further rise in council tax planned as South Kesteven District Council sets its 2021/22 budget

Council tax payers will likely see a further rise in bills from April as South Kesteven District Council plans to raise its precept.

The local authority's cabinet yesterday (Tuesday) opted to increase its share of the council tax bill by £5 for band D properties. The decision will go before full council in March following consultation.

It follows a decision earlier this month by Lincolnshire County Council to raise its share of the bill by 1.99 per cent.

South Kesteven District Council. (43629105)
South Kesteven District Council. (43629105)

Part of SKDC's 2021/22 budget includes a Government grant of £362,000 “which will provide some financial level of protection against unforeseen Covid costs,” said Councillor Adam Stokes, who is cabinet member for finance and resources.

He added: “The overall visuals [numbers] are not immune from variation, and fluctuation.”

Leader of the council Coun Kelham Cooke said: “I think none of us can doubt, there’s a challenging 12 months ahead of us. Even with a Covid recovery.”

Residents and local businesses are invited to have their say on SKDC's council tax proposals.

The consultation which opens today (Wednesday) runs for two weeks and is an opportunity to comment on a proposal to increase SKDC’s element of council tax by £5 for properties in band D – equivalent to an increase of just over 41p a month.

The consultation provides an overview of the financial impact of Covid-19 and highlights how the proposed increase would help the council to deliver on its ambitions for South Kesteven. It closes on January 27, 2021.

Coun Stokes said SKDC had worked hard to maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach throughout the pandemic during which it had overseen the distribution of more than £30m in business grants through InvestSK; processed around 3,500 benefit claims; provided 243 homeless people with accommodation; and responded to more than 1,100 enquiries about fly-tipping.

He said: "SKDC is continuing on a path to becoming financially self-sufficient by 2025 by being more efficient in how we deliver our services and generating income by using our assets and reserves wisely. This is vital given the reduction in funding from central government and the uncertain financial situation that all local authorities are facing due to coronavirus.

“As well as contributing to initiatives under each of the council’s priorities, our residents play a vital role in helping to meet the costs of services we provide on a day-to-day basis and it is important that we are aware of their views before any decisions are made.

“The proposed increase will help fund the services we currently provide, as well as our priorities for the future, and ensure that we are in a position to support South Kesteven’s recovery, post-Covid.

“We ask that as many residents and businesses as possible complete the survey which should only take a couple of minutes. The views we receive will help inform the decision the council makes at the beginning of March in respect of its element of council tax for 2021/22.”

To have your say on council tax proposals go to www.southkesteven.gov.uk/counciltaxconsultation2022

Lincolnshire Police has not yet revealed its intention for its precept, however the county's police and crime commissioner, Marc Jones, broached the subject of a rise in his annual policing survey.

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