Council tax increase is likely from Arun council

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COUNCIL tax payments set by Arun District Council are likely to rise by 2.5 per cent from next April.

The early indication of the increase was given to the council’s Tory-run cabinet on August 13.

Resource director Nigel Croad said the extra cost to residents formed a part of the financial strategy of the council for the next seven years.

“Council tax has been frozen for two years and it has been assumed that increases will be kept low over the period of the strategy, initially at 2.5 per cent, he said.

“This will possibly go up to nearer three per cent towards the end of the seven year strategy as things stand at the moment.”

Arun’s share of the current council tax bill stands at £161.37 for a band D household.

The pressure from the government to keep council taxes low had come as grants towards council spending had been slashed. That combination would remain.

He said: “The coming few years will not be good for public sector spending generally and certainly not good for local govenrment as we tend to be the poor relations to central government.”

The situation made a healthy balance, such as Arun’s £12.5m essential, he stated.

Cllr Dudley Wensley (Angmering) said: “This highlights how important it is to recognise this reserve is a finite resource and we should hang on it.

“The idea is that, when times get harder, we know we have the reserves to see us through.”

Cllr Paul Dendle (Arundel) said: “Financial reserves are our cushion, an insurance policy against events that might occur in the next few years.”

Cllr Roger Elkins (Ferring) said the strategy enabled residents to know how their council tax payments would be affected.