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Sunderland: Council Tax to rise

Sunderland City Council has agreed to raise Council Tax by 4%. It will also reduce spending by £46 million.

"We have worked hard to protect residents and communities from the impact of the cuts over the last few years with £207m already saved since 2010. But we now need to find a further £46m of reductions next year with potentially £115m needing to be saved by 2020.

– Cllr Paul Watson, Sunderland City Council Leader

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Rise in Hartlepool council tax set to be approved

Its expected that council tax in Hartlepool will increase by 3.9% from April. The council has said its due to a shift in Government funding.

The full council meeting is open to the public and will take place this Thursday at Hartlepool Civic Centre at 7pm. Credit: Hartlepool Council

The new budget proposals will be considered at the Full Council meeting on Thursday. A report says that Hartlepool will lose almost £4.5m in Government grant for 2016/17 – a reduction of 17.9%. Hartlepool Council has frozen Council Tax for the last five years.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said:

As a Council we have been able to freeze Council tax for the last five years but even the Government acknowledges now that Council Tax freezes are now a thing of the past.

I believe that the budget we are proposing is prudent and the use of one-off resources will enable us to protect frontline services and ensure no compulsory redundancies.

It will enable us to provide vital support to those most in need whilst allocating resources to develop and improve the town, and I think we’ve got the balance right."

– Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council

Rise in council tax for severely disabled Newcastle residents

Newcastle Civic Centre and council offices Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Severely disabled residents in Newcastle will have to pay council tax from April 1st. The change was passed by 44 votes to 21 at Newcastle City Council's meeting last night.

Those effected will be:

  • living in a band A property
  • pay approximately £3 a week in taxes
  • one of around 6000 effected by the change

At present Newcastle City Council provides 100% relief for people registered as severely disabled.

The council say this is a consequence of an £8m cut in the government’s local council tax reduction scheme.

Durham council agree to council tax rise

Council tax in County Durham will go up for the first time in five years.

Councillors agreed a 1.99% rise at a Cabinet meeting this morning.

The local authority predicts the additional income from council tax will generate £3.29m in 2014/15.

Since 2011, 1500 jobs have been axed at Durham County Council, but councillors vowed to keep further compulsory redundancies to 'an absolute minimum.'

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Council Tax Arrears: What your council is owed

Freedom of Information requests were sent to almost every council in the region. Some were unable to provide exact figures. The full breakdown of council tax arrears from North East councils who responded to our Freedom of Information requests is listed below:

  • Durham County Council: £23,320,942
  • Newcastle City Council: £15,673,796
  • Darlington Borough Council: £4,179, 119
  • Sunderland City Council: £9,500,000
  • Gateshead Borough Council: £7,025,726
  • Northumberland County Council: £12,994,114

Highest council tax rises in the country

The North East has seen the highest average council tax rises in the country this year. The average Band D bill will be up £13.81, which is 0.9%. The national average is only up by 0.3%.

However, the body which does the annual survey, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), says the increase is still relatively small. No local authority has increased the tax by more than 4%.