'We can't keep freezing council tax with funding reductions' warns council chief Martin Tett, with rise on table for 2014/15

Increase in biggest chunk of council tax likely for next year

Increase in biggest chunk of council tax likely for next year

First published in News
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A RISE in the biggest portion of council tax already looks likely for 2014 despite a freeze for the upcoming financial year.

The largest chunk of the money householders pay as council tax goes to Buckinghamshire County Council, which last week ratified no increase in its share for the 12 months from this April.

But Leader Martin Tett has told the BFP around a 1.5 per cent rise is on the cards for 2014/15, as the squeezed authority tries to cope with dwindling funds from Government.

Currently, and up until April 2014, the average Band D household pays £1, 077.74 to the county council. If the 2014/15 rise does eventually happen that will mean these households pay just over £16 a year extra to County Hall.

Cllr Tett said: “We can't go on year after year after year freezing council tax while seeing in real terms the money we get dropping and dropping. We've made massive savings. The year after (2014/15) I think we're going to need to see a very small increase in council tax.

“We're modelling for about 1.5 per cent increase which is way below the going rate for those who are already increasing council tax this year.

“For the average person it's not a lot of money but the principle is important – that we don't take it out now unless we absolutely have to.”

About £45 million of savings have been 'baked in' for the next four years and any rise would be to ensure these do not increase further, Cllr Tett said.

He said the public and councillors were clear from the start they wanted to see no increase tax this year – despite other councils and the police deciding to raise their share.

New Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld has elected to raise Thames Valley Police's portion by £3.08 a year for a band D house in order to recruit nine new officers.

South Bucks District Council have raised theirs by 1.9 per cent and Aylesbury Vale District Council by two per cent.

Cllr Tett said it was not for him to comment on Mr Stansfeld's decision – or that of any other authorities.

But he said: “From our point of view we take very seriously in really tough times that we need to be on the side of residents.

“I've been a resident myself I know it's very easy to look and think 'these guys are just looking after themselves, they're quite happy to put the council tax up, they don't see from our point of view in tough times'.

“I think we are absolutely in tune go with residents on freezing.”

The council qualifies for a one off grant from the Government for freezing the tax.

Comments (8)

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7:15am Wed 20 Feb 13

Kwak1100 says...

What do BCC intend to do about the disgraceful state of the road surfaces in the area? I appreciate that some may say there are more important issues but this is also an area that BCC have ignored for years and has now got to the point where millions need spending.
What do BCC intend to do about the disgraceful state of the road surfaces in the area? I appreciate that some may say there are more important issues but this is also an area that BCC have ignored for years and has now got to the point where millions need spending. Kwak1100
  • Score: 2

7:20am Wed 20 Feb 13

Kwak1100 says...

Sorry meant to also add that this isn't just a problem for the motorist; there are some potholes in the Wycombe area that are now so big that they fill with water and any pedestrian runs the risk of getting inadvertently soaked by a motorist - the entire A40 between the retail park and the M40 roundabout being a prime example
Sorry meant to also add that this isn't just a problem for the motorist; there are some potholes in the Wycombe area that are now so big that they fill with water and any pedestrian runs the risk of getting inadvertently soaked by a motorist - the entire A40 between the retail park and the M40 roundabout being a prime example Kwak1100
  • Score: -1

9:16am Wed 20 Feb 13

miccles says...

What has the council done in the past years with the money that has supposed to be for the ROADS?
The ROADS in Buckinghamshire are absolutely disgusting, they fill it with a bit of tar, and in a couple of weeks its back to square one.
This council does not save money at all, what it saves on one hand, it gives to another.
I don't mind a slight increase in council tax, only if they provide the services back, and we see what we pay for.

One thing i do detest very strongly is taxpayers money going on HS2, which is not part of the taxpayers responsibility.
What has the council done in the past years with the money that has supposed to be for the ROADS? The ROADS in Buckinghamshire are absolutely disgusting, they fill it with a bit of tar, and in a couple of weeks its back to square one. This council does not save money at all, what it saves on one hand, it gives to another. I don't mind a slight increase in council tax, only if they provide the services back, and we see what we pay for. One thing i do detest very strongly is taxpayers money going on HS2, which is not part of the taxpayers responsibility. miccles
  • Score: -2

9:38am Wed 20 Feb 13

Bill Taxpayer says...

Any increase in council tax is unreasonable while Bucks CC pays obscene salaries to top executives (e.g. the £207K plus pension contributions to Chris Williams, Chief Executive) and several other 'Strategic Directors' on £140K+
Any increase in council tax is unreasonable while Bucks CC pays obscene salaries to top executives (e.g. the £207K plus pension contributions to Chris Williams, Chief Executive) and several other 'Strategic Directors' on £140K+ Bill Taxpayer
  • Score: 3

9:46am Wed 20 Feb 13

readerabc says...

they should be more efficient, cut overpaid management, think tanks, conferences with lunch, unneccessary meetings, non-ism job titles,

this would soon put more resources on the front line and free up cash for important services.
they should be more efficient, cut overpaid management, think tanks, conferences with lunch, unneccessary meetings, non-ism job titles, this would soon put more resources on the front line and free up cash for important services. readerabc
  • Score: 1

11:24am Wed 20 Feb 13

Welwyn Dowd says...

I think SmartyMarty is getting soft. A whole article and not one mention of how it's all Gordon Brown's fault and tax cuts for the rich are nothing to do with it. I thought the line was that there'd be no rises in Council Tax as benefits would be cut to make up the extra costs. Wasn't it the case that all these benefits that Labour introduced were responsible for the problems? Now those on benefits are giving up eating on two days a week to pay council tax I thought us rich folk were safe. Nothing to do with the banks then?
I think SmartyMarty is getting soft. A whole article and not one mention of how it's all Gordon Brown's fault and tax cuts for the rich are nothing to do with it. I thought the line was that there'd be no rises in Council Tax as benefits would be cut to make up the extra costs. Wasn't it the case that all these benefits that Labour introduced were responsible for the problems? Now those on benefits are giving up eating on two days a week to pay council tax I thought us rich folk were safe. Nothing to do with the banks then? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: -2

12:46am Thu 21 Feb 13

yog says...

Tory police commissioner is putting up Council Tax to pay for the salary of his part time deputy and Tory friend Councillor Carroll.
Tory police commissioner is putting up Council Tax to pay for the salary of his part time deputy and Tory friend Councillor Carroll. yog
  • Score: -2

1:41pm Thu 21 Feb 13

wayneo says...

As already mentioned, the amount they pay in salaries is obscene, coupled with tthe fact that they have neglected the roads for 20 or so years, makes me wonder where else the money's going. Only last week I nearly come a cropper with a pothole while cycling at night, imagine if it had been at 70mph (cough cough) going down Marlow Hill like a particular flogger claims to have done.
As already mentioned, the amount they pay in salaries is obscene, coupled with tthe fact that they have neglected the roads for 20 or so years, makes me wonder where else the money's going. Only last week I nearly come a cropper with a pothole while cycling at night, imagine if it had been at 70mph (cough cough) going down Marlow Hill like a particular flogger claims to have done. wayneo
  • Score: 0

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