Fareham Borough Council will be asking residents for their views about a possible increase in the level of Fareham's part of Council Tax in a consultation running from 12 January through to 2 February 2016.
The Council only retains 10% of the Council Tax and this element of the bill is actually the fifth lowest in the country. In fact, Council Tax has been frozen at £140.22 per year, or 38p per day, for a Band D Property, since 2009. It is worth noting that if we we had increased Council Tax in line with inflation over those seven years then Fareham's part of the Council Tax bill would have gone up by £32 to £172.61.
We have been able to freeze Council Tax by running our services more efficiently, in some cases by working in partnership with other councils, and by using careful financial management. In fact, looking at that same seven year period from 2009, we have actually saved £5.1 million. We continue to make improvements to services whilst making savings across the Council through our work with Vanguard using systems thinking.
Despite these efficiencies, our finances are getting tighter. The government has reduced the amount it grants the Council from £6.2m in 2009/10 to £3.2m in 2015/16. This trend is set to continue. Next year we will be receiving 19% (£606,873) less than in 2015/16. In fact, all of the revenue support grant from central government will stop over the next four years. This means we need to look for ways to ensure that we can continue to provide residents with the high level of service they expect.
As part of the Autumn Statement the 50 councils with the lowest Council Tax have been given an opportunity to increase their Council Tax by £5. This is one possible option that we are looking at, as Fareham Borough Council falls into that category.
However, the Council would like to hear your views before making a decision.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Sean Woodward said: "Fareham has the fifth lowest Council Tax in the country. Even after the possible increase of £5, we would still have one of the lowest rates. We want to hear your views before making this important decision."
You can find out more about the proposals and have your say online at www.fareham.gov.uk/consultations until 2 February 2016.
For Further Information Contact:
Roy Brown, Customer Engagement Manager, tel: 01329 824409
fax: 01329 821518, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org