People living in the Wellingborough area will see their council tax rise by £5 from April.
A flat increase of £5 in council tax for 2016-17 was unanimously approved by Wellingborough Council at a meeting of the full council last night (Tuesday).
Documents published ahead of the meeting stated: “The resources committee has considered the budget proposals for 2016-17 to 2019-20 as part of the medium term financial plan and its recommendation is to increase the borough council element of council tax in 2016-17 by £5 to £100.71.
“The committee also recommends increasing the council tax in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 by either £5 or 1.99 per cent, whichever is the greater, subject to meeting the referendum criteria.”
Addressing councillors at last night’s meeting, council leader Paul Bell said the financial pressures facing local government remain high and while a lot of work has been done to manage the budget, the authority must continue to find ways to save money and make the best use of its assets.
He said projects such as the new crematorium and the Stanton Cross development, with house building due to start next month, were significant and key to the borough’s future, both in terms of growth and economic value.
Before asking for councillors to approve this year’s budget, he said: “We are still one of the lowest [for council tax] in the country by far.”
The Labour group then showed its support for the proposed budget, with leader of the opposition Cllr Andrew Scarborough saying: “I am strongly seconding Cllr Bell’s proposals.
“The strategic direction of the council led by officers but involving all councillors is absolutely correct.” And he added: “We also liked what we heard from the head of finance about fixing the roof while the sun is still shining.”
Wellingborough Council is one of 51 councils in the country with the lowest level of council tax, which saw it ranked as the 24th lowest in 2015-16.
The report considerd by the resources committee last month showed that even if the council tax increased by £5 per annum for each year over the medium term, the council would still be in the lowest quartile and one of the lowest council taxes in the country.
A £5 increase on a Band D property is an increase of 5.22 per cent, which is equal to about 10p per week or 42p per month.