Funding shortfall prompts Council Tax increase for Melton residents

Latest news EMN-180702-161533001
Latest news EMN-180702-161533001
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Melton Council Tax payers face a rise close to the maximum allowed by the government when new bills are issued in April.

Rural councils such as Melton are being allowed to increase the tax by up to three per cent to make up a shortfall in government funding, which will see the borough’s grant slashed by 42 per cent between 2015 and 2020.

So councillors have agreed a new budget which allows for a 2.99 per cent rise in Council Tax, which equates to £5.88 extra a year or 12p a week for those who live in average Band D properties.

Despite the challenging financial situation, the council says it has been able to increase funding to support a number of priority objectives.

These include increasing capacity to effectively contract manage the council’s leisure facilities and employing two neighbourhood support officers to help tackle community and environmental issues.

Despite the Council Tax rise, the authority still faces a shortfall in funding for the coming year and has decided to use some of its reserves to balance the budget.

The council says this is a temporary solution until further savings, efficiencies and potenital commercial activities are identified in its developing budget management strategy.

Council leader, Councillor Joe Orson, said: “The council has continued to manage its finances well against a background of reduced government grant but, looking forward, is facing a shortfall in funding.

“Therefore, whilst we remain committed to continuing to invest in our priorities we shall also be working with officers to deliver the savings and efficiencies required to balance the budget in the coming years.”

The council hopes its financial situation will be eased by a new social care service it has developed called timesage, where people can buy packages of support for loved ones to allow them to continue to live independent lives.

Councillors will decide whether to formally adopt the proposed budget and Council Tax rise at their meeting on February 22.