‘District council tax will be cut’ – leader

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TAXPAYERS will see a cut in the bill for South Holland services next year – and council leader Gary Porter hopes to get to a position where residents pay nothing directly to the authority.

Coun Porter says he is committed to cutting council tax every year for this four-year term to offer taxpayers a share of the savings made as part of the council’s back office merger.

The aim was enshrined in the council’s Corporate Plan, signed off by councillors last Wednesday.

The leader admits next year’s cut is likely to be more symbolic than anything else – but said it’s part of his dream to wipe out South Holland’s share of the council tax bill in the long term.

Currently, the annual bill for a band D property is £1,402.00, with £157.03 going to the district council, £1,065.69 to Lincolnshire County Council and £179.28 to Lincolnshire Police.

However, most houses in South Holland are in band A and pay £104.69 a year for district council services.

Coun Porter’s aim would be to wipe off that share of the bill entirely.

Coun Porter said: “This year’s cut could be more totemic than cash beneficial. We are saying let’s share some of the financial benefit with the people who pay for the council.

“We would like to get to a position where South Holland ratepayers don’t pay anything.

“If we can find some way to generate a few million quid we could do that.

“It wouldn’t make a big difference to people’s spending power but it would be quite a big statement.”

Coun Porter, a key figure in the Local Government Association, is lobbying to try to get more money through measures such as spending more of the business rates raised in the district spent locally.

The merged management team between South Holland and Breckland district councils is already said to be saving £500,000 a year.

Breckland and South Holland bosses are looking at adding Great Yarmouth council into its management team and talks with the coastal authority are currently under way.