Borough to follow county's lead with maximum council tax increase

The draft budget is set to go out for consultation
The draft budget is set to go out for consultation

Northampton Borough Council is following the lead of the county council in suggesting council tax is increased by the maximum amount allowed.

The borough is aiming to implement the 2.99 per cent rise for band D property for its 2019/20 budget.

It is the maximum amount that the figure can be raised by before triggering a referendum, and looks likely to be the set amount increase for each year left that the borough council has before it is likely to be replaced by a new unitary authority council.

This year’s increase is the third in a row, after there had been a four year freeze up until 2016/17. Coupled with the county council increase, it will see band D properties cough up an extra £46 per year on top of the £1,455.63 they paid the two councils this year. That is also prior to contributions to the parish councils and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.

It comes as funding from government and income from retained business rates has declined substantially over the last five years, from a total over £16million in 2014/15 to around £12million projected for 2019/20. Over that period the Revenue Support Grant will have reduced from £6.9million to nil.

Funding is only fixed from the government until this next budget, with the position unknown at the moment due to ongoing consultation over the unitary authority reorganisation.

Also included within the 2019/20 budget is a planned reduction in the bulky waste charge for a three-month trial period to monitor the effect on recycling rates.

The draft budget proposals will go out for public consultation before final recommendations are made to council by the cabinet in February 2019.