Issued: 13 February 2003
£1 a Week Increase In Angus
ANGUS Council’s band D council tax for 2003/04 has been increased by £52 to £933.
"The £1 per week increase will bring households in Angus direct benefit through greater investment in services such as schools, roads, libraries and sports facilities," said Councillor King, at the special council meeting (Thursday 13 February).
The 5.9% rise falls far below a predicted increase of 8.6% and the Council’s finance convener Alex King remained confident that Angus would still have one of the lowest council tax levels in mainland Scotland.
"We have earmarked an additional £6m, over and above departmental budgets, for investment in the county's core services and infrastructure. £3.5m has been specifically allocated to roads and transport with a further £1.5m allocated to the repair and renewal of property, which includes schools and other public buildings."
Despite this good news Councillor King said he was dismayed that once again council tax had to increase to compensate for the low level of government support. "Once again the government grant leaves us with a shortfall that can only be met through an increase in council tax and by shaving 1.5% off departmental budgets.
"Almost 80% of the Scottish Executive's much trumpeted £12.5m grant increase comes to us earmarked for government initiatives. This leaves us with just £2.5m to meet costs of over £6m for nationally agreed pay awards, additional roads maintenance costs, landfill tax and CCTV to name but a few. The sums just don't add up.
"Even with cuts amounting to £1.75m there is still a funding gap of over £2m to be closed. Regrettably we have no choice but to increase council tax."
Council leader Rob Murray said the £1 a week increase was a necessary investment in the county's future. "The increasing lack of flexibility in local government funding is not just an issue for Angus, it is a problem facing councils throughout Scotland. We need to be able to deliver the services local people need and want but the government ties our hands more and more, leaving us less and less to allocate to local priorities.
"For example we have decided to set aside a substantial allowance for roads, as an efficient and well maintained transport network is particularly essential in a rural area. The £3.5m allocation to the Roads & Transport Repairs and Renewal fund will place extra resources at the department's disposal for our roads, pavements and street lighting programmes.
"This extra £1 a week will give us some flexibility and allow us to invest these additional resources in the core services and infrastructure that the people of Angus want."Notes
- The full text of the Finance Convener's speech is available at www.angus.gov.uk/news
- The 2003/2004 council tax bands for Angus are as follows:
The Band D council tax has increased from £881 to £933 an increase of £52 or 5.9%