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Bristol Pound can be used to pay council tax

Local currency can now be used to pay council tax Credit: Bristol Pound

Bristol residents can now use the Bristol Pound to make council tax payments.

This means Bristol is the first UK city where people can pay council tax in a local currency.

Accounts can be opened online at bristolpound.org/signup or in person at BCU’s offices, Stokes Croft.

Local currency can now be used to pay council tax Credit: Bristol Pound

For the first time the people of Bristol have a clear and direct way of giving an imperative to the city council to support local businesses.

In true Bristol fashion, we are the first UK city where people can pay council tax in a local currency.

If people take it on and start doing it, the whole scheme will scale up significantly.

This would have a real effect on the economy, supporting locally owned businesses and the communities they are part of.

Local businesses have been able to pay their business rates and Business Improvement District (BID) Levy in £Bs since the scheme launched in September 2012.

£B119,502 Bristol Pounds were paid to the council in business rates in 2014.

Since September 2012 a total of £B680,000 Bristol Pounds has been issued, with £B460,000Bristol Pounds currently in circulation. About 800 locally-owned businesses accept the currency.

– Ciaran Mundy, £B Director

Dorset council tax to rise

Dorset County Council will increase its share of the council tax by just under 2% next year.

It already need to cut £15 million this year and the council says it would have to save even more if they didn't increase their share of the council tax.

The council have had to cut £15 million this year

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Council tax suspended for Somerset flood victims

Somerset County Council suspends council tax Credit: ITV News West Country

Somerset County Council today announced that people whose homes are flooded or cut off because of the floods will not have to pay the County Council part of their council tax until they are back in their homes.

Leader of the Council, Cllr John Osman, said: “We recognise that local people affected by the flooding are struggling and under tremendous strain.

“We want to remove one of their financial worries by suspending their council tax charge while they are stranded or unable to live in their home.

“There are some people who are being asked to pay council tax both on their home that they have had to leave under traumatic circumstances, and also where they are now in emergency accommodation. That can’t be right and we are reacting quickly to reassure people.

“We are in talks with our District Council colleagues to see if they are able to follow our lead and also suspend their part of council tax for flood victims.”

North Somerset council tax to rise by 1.5%

Council tax in North Somerset will rise by 1.5% in the year ahead.

The decision was made at last night's [Tuesday] full council meeting. The rise equates to a 33p a week rise for an average Band D property, with an annual bill of £1,164.88 - a rise of £16.95.

Challenging finances are not new to us. We are a low-funded and low-spending authority and have successfully dealt with previous budget reductions.

However, we have never faced such challenging times as now, and they will be with us for years. The scale of change will be significant and the council will look, feel and operate very differently in the future. Despite this, our vision and ambitions remain the same

– Council Leader, Councillor Nigel Ashton

Councillor Ashton added that government grant funding had been reduced by 6.3% for 2013/14 but that the council is still waiting for confirmation of the final settlement. He added that it is because of unfair funding that the decision to raise council tax has had to be taken.

We have considered the proposals put forward in the alternative budgets by opposition groups, each of which suggested a 2% tax rise, and we have also examined the freeze grant the government is offering. However the numbers just don't add up, which is why, with some regret we are making this increase.

– Council Leader, Councillor Nigel Ashton

Full details of the council tax amounts by council tax band and parish can be found here.