Council Tax increases set for Cumbria and South of Scotland

  • Watch as Ryan Dollard is in the Scottish Borders where local authorities are looking to increase council tax bills

Council Tax rises are 'needed' for the Scottish Borders as council's get set to increase bills throughout the country.

This morning, in Newton St Boswells, councillors from all parts of the political spectrum from the SNP to the Conservatives to Independents and Greens all agreed on one thing- a rise in council tax is needed to protect services during the cost of living crisis.

Scottish Borders Council say that they've kept the rise to a minimum and that the cost to families is small while the benefit to communities is significant.

It looks like the same is coming elsewhere throughout the region.

In Cumbria the issue is being dealt by the new shadow authorities that will replace the County Council in two months time.

A recent statement from Cumberland Council said: "The council is proposing an increase of 4.99% in council tax bills from 1 April 2023. This is a 2.99% base increase, and 2% for adult social care."

In Westmorland and Furness the message is identical: "In line with Government assumptions, the council is proposing a 4.99% rise in council tax for 2023/24.

"This is made up of a 2.99% basic increase plus another 2% specifically to help fund adult social care, known as the Adult Social Care Precept."

In Cumbria the council sent out proposals relating to council tax increases.

Cumbria County Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond so far.

"As you would expect there are a wide range of views on what we are proposing, both in support and opposition.

"We are keen to hear from as many people as possible, so I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet to have a look at the consultation let us know what they think."

In Cumbria there are also proposals to increase the council tax rate for second home owners by 100%.

There are 5440 second homes in the Westmorland and Furness area, accounting for 4.7% of the housing stock, but in some local areas such as the Lakes at 21%, the proportion is far higher.

Commenting on the proposal Cllr Jarvis added: “These are all big decisions for our new council to make, but one of our core values is listening to our communities and working with local people on the issues that matter most.

"That’s why I would encourage everyone share their views on what we are proposing through this consultation.”

A consultation feedback report will be considered by Cabinet at their meeting on 24 February, ahead of a final decision on the council’s 2023/24 budget at the Shadow Authority meeting on 7 March.

A statement from Dumfries and Galloway council said: "We are facing a significant shortfall of £13 million next year and are looking at a number of measures to address this.

"Until our Elected members have made a final decision, we are unable to provide any further details."

Council's around the country say that they they too are being hit by rising prices and that they have to raise more money to avoid cutting services

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