1. ITV Report

Council 'only following orders' over tax changes

Dumfries and Galloway Council. Credit: ITV Border

The leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council has said the local authority is "only following orders" by introducing council tax changes.

A three percent increase in basic council tax is expected in regions across Scotland, but a final decision on this will be taken in Dumfries and Galloway when the full council meets on 28 February.

However, there are further compulsory changes to the way council tax is applied across a range of bands higher than D, which are guaranteed to come into force in April 2017.

These changes could result in people who own properties in band D and above, having to pay considerably more.

Water and wastewater charges are also being increased by 1.6 percent over the coming year, and the council has a duty to collect these charges for Scottish Water.

Overall, the council is anticipating having a funding gap of just under £20 million for the year 2017/18.

We will face tough choices when we set the budget next week. This is largely due to the savings we have to make, like every other local authority across Scotland due to the cutting of funding from the Government.

Council Tax monies received by our Council allow us to empty bins on a weekly basis, it allows us to operate our schools to a high and consistent standard and it allows us to protect our most vulnerable people.

I would like to assure all our residents in Dumfries and Galloway that no decision will be made lightly, and we will be acting in the best interests of our residents when we set the budget on 28 February.

– Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson