Council tax rise recommended as authority slams government

PEOPLE living in Tameside face paying more in council tax after a 4.99 per cent increase was recommended.

But councillors have criticised the treatment the authority gets from central government, highlighting a difference in what it receives.

They also slammed the handouts it will get from a £600 million pot for local bodies.

The fee for a Band A property in the borough would rise by almost £70, with Band D homeowners facing an increase of £104 and the highest Band H £208.

In Mossley, where a Town Council sits, charges will be higher because of a precept that is passed on to that body.

This rise, made up of 2.99 per cent in tax and a two per cent adult social care precept, has been proposed as it becomes increasingly difficult to balance the books.

After its executive cabinet gave the green light, the recommendation will now go to its full council meeting on March 5 for approval.

While stating the case, Tameside Council’s first deputy, Cllr Jacqueline North, also compared Tameside to Wokingham in Berkshire, a council at risk of effective bankruptcy.

She said: “In Wokingham, not exactly a deprived area, they raised council tax by five per cent and they get £130 extra per household – Tameside gets £58 per household.

“I don’t know where that fits into the government’s Levelling Up plan.

“Of £500 million being out forward for adult social care, Tameside will get £2.4 million – another authority said it has one person in adult social care that’s costing more than £1 million a year.

“Of the £100 million available for the service grant, we’ll get £36,000. That’s a grant government has reduced by £1.9 million for Tameside for 2024/25.

“We’ve had to take £203 million out of our budgets since 2010 and the idea you deal with adult social care by a precept raised through local council tax, I don’t know in what world they think that’s going to deal with the problems they face.”

In a report for the meeting of the executive cabinet on Wednesday, February 14, a balanced budget of £266.984 million for 2024/25 was put forward.

And another one-year financial settlement for local government was cited as making that job more difficult, even though there are some increases in funding.

Director of resources Ashley Hughes told how every department manager is looking at ways of cutting costs as a deficit of more than £8 million by the end of the financial year was forecast.

He added the tax increase will generate about £5 million of added income and: “Without it, we’ll be faced with more budget reductions. I’m confident the budget is robust but we do have to deliver.”

The report states: “The budget can only be balanced with further budget reductions and the maximum 2.99 per cent increase in council tax plus two per cent adult social precept.

“The financial position is based on the 2024/25 Local Government Finance Settlement (LGFS).

“While it provided for an uplift in social care grant, it was more than offset by a sharp reduction in general grants that supported universal services.

“Furthermore, single-year settlements, along with the funding gap make planning and setting balanced budgets more difficult.”

As well as council tax, fees the council charges for many things will also rise, including photocopying, internet usage at libraries and overdue library books.

It was told by members of the public they believe an increase may cause more hardship, it should find more cost savings first and services have deteriorated despite the raises.

The much-talked about period of austerity was also detailed – and how it effects Tameside more than others.

The report adds: “The council’s real terms spending power reduction is 22.4 per cent, compared to an England average of 18.9 per cent.

“This equates to a £700 per household reduction or a £318 reduction per head in real terms. The England average is a £581 per household reduction.

“Tameside and similar authorities have been disproportionately impacted by the cuts in central government grants.

“This is because the methodology applied before 2016/17 didn’t take into account the ability to raise council tax – penalising councils with a low base who had historically been more dependent on central government funding.

“Tameside has 88 per cent of its council tax base in Bands A-C. 75 per cent are in Bands A-B. This constrains the council’s ability to raise funds from this source.”

6 Replies to “Council tax rise recommended as authority slams government”

  1. Why though? You have reduced our bin collections. You have dimmed all the streetlights.

    Paying more to receive even less, maybe the top councillors shouldn’t be having payrises at a high salary or even having salary reductions.

  2. Well that’s a surprise, why they have a run down on what monies they waste, oh I know a street cleaner came down my road today but left my side and shot out of the way, tameside what a dump

  3. Time for a Royal Commission cross party review on Council Tax UK wide, to continue with the same system based purely on Property rateable value banding is unsustainable leading Local Authorities in to Bankruptcy .

  4. Why are we paying £250 more in the North than people living in the South? ITV News last week, its just not a fair system. Also how do you justify someone living in a 8 million pound House paying less than us also.
    On the street where I live we never get a street cleaner they never come and do the grids or gullies we don’t even have a street light. My husband sweeps our street every week. I live in town centre and with the amount of takeaways the council keep allowing to open. The rubbish is disgusting. What services do we get for the amount of council tax that we have to pay. Its a complete micky take. I’ve live in my home for 39 years, and we get the same services now as we got when we bought our house and that is NOTHING.

  5. Shameside Council is corrupt and senior management are self serving. The poll tax oh sorry council tax is a scam. #stoppayingtaxes. Our money is being used to fund wars, commit genocide and kill innocent children. This is against human right act. Stop paying taxes that Government use to commit genocide against Palestine

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