Districts freeze council tax bills

Council tax bills are set to go up in Lincolnshire, despite district councils proposing to keep them down.
Council tax bills are set to go up in Lincolnshire, despite district councils proposing to keep them down.

Council tax payers in three areas could face a hike in their bills of nearly two per cent, but not from the district councils running them.

South Holland is planning to cut council tax, despite a £1 million drop in government funding, while South Kesteven and Boston Borough Councils are both considering a freeze in precepts for 2015-16.

In contrast, Lincolnshire County Council is proposing a 1.9 per cent rise in 2015/16 to compensate for a £67 million budget gap, adding £20 onto the annual bill for an average band D property.

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Police is planning a 1.99 per cent rise or £3.64 onto the bill of an average band D property for 2015/16.

Speaking about its plans, South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter said: “Back in 2011, we froze and then cut our share of the local council tax bill.

“In 2015, cabinet will recommend that from April onwards we cut council tax again, meaning a real terms cut of around 16 per cent for our residents.

“We are determined to defend our residents and that is why they will see a reduction in the council tax they pay for a fourth successive year.”

Boston Borough Council provides services such as waste collection, street cleaning and sports centres for villages such as Kirton, Sutterton, Swineshead and Wyberton.

Council leader Peter Bedford said: “In recent years, we have had reducing amounts of funding from the Government because of the recession.

“The council’s savings target from 2014/15 to 2017/18 stands at £1.168 million, while our funding cut from Government for 2015/16 is £600,000.

“But there will be no increase in council tax and there will be no cuts in frontline services.”

South Kesteven District Council, which covers Bourne and The Deepings, is to ask people whether it should freeze council tax or raise it by two per cent or £2.79 for an average band D property.

A council spokesman said: “We want to make sure that we continue to deliver what is important to local people, but the amount we get from government funding has gone down by more than 45 per cent since 2010 and is expected to reduce further.

“We know that times have been tough for our residents and we are considering carefully what we should do about our element of council tax for the 2015/16 financial year.”

On its proposed council tax rise, Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill said: “It is the first rise in four years but it will be the third lowest for a county council in the country.”