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COUNCIL TAX: 3.95% rise proposed for South Tyneside Council

COUNCIL TAX: 3.95% rise proposed for South Tyneside Council

Image: LDRS

Under embargo until 00:01 on Wednesday January 27 2021

Council tax is set to rise again in South Tyneside as town hall chiefs press ahead with budget plans for 2021/22.

The 3.95% rise is included in the council’s latest Medium Term Financial Plan which will be formally discussed at full borough council next month.

Council chiefs have previously noted the “difficult balancing act” around setting council tax in terms of protecting residents from rises and supporting adult social care.

This year’s proposed rise includes a 3% precept which will be ring fenced for adult social care in the borough and a 0.95% increase in core council tax.

The bill issued by the council also includes separate amounts levied by other statutory bodies such as the police and fire service.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Civil Defence Authority and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner are expected to confirm any changes to their precepts in February.

When excluding these precepts, the majority of households in South Tyneside, which fall into the lowest Band A bracket, would see a weekly increase in their council tax bills of 83p and an annual increase of £42.90.

Meanwhile, Band D properties would see a weekly increase of £1.24 and an annual increase of £64.35.

Predicted annual council tax bill by property band for 2021/22 (excluding police and fire precepts)

Band A – £1,128.92

Band B – £1,317.07

Band C – £1,505.22

Band D – £1,693.38

Band E – £2,069.69

Band F – £2,445.99

Band G – £2,822.30

Band H – £3,386.76

The proposed rise comes as South Tyneside Council looks to save around £8 million in 2021/22, with more savings expected in future years.

Despite having to save £175 million since 2010 due to government grant reductions, council chiefs say they can achieve a balanced budget in 2021/22.

Planned savings will be delivered through a mix of reduced spending, delivering new models of service and “increasing efficiency.”

The Medium Term Financial Plan also covers the council’s capital programme of £360 million over the next five years which includes regeneration projects, sustainable energy schemes and major road improvements.

The spend in 2021/22 is set to be £99 million, financed by a mixture of external funding, government grants, borrowing and capital receipts from sales of assets.

Ongoing projects include the Holborn riverside development, South Shields 365 regeneration scheme and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.

One scheme also includes a ‘strategic bus corridor’ from South Shields through to the Boldon Colliery area to “support and sustain bus journeys” into the city centres of Newcastle and Durham.

The council’s Medium Term Financial Plan will be considered by cabinet on February 3.

A final decision on the 2021/22 budget will be made by full council on February 25.

Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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