According to predictions, tax rises could be in store for Wealden residents, if the Conservatives lose control of Wealden Council in the local elections in May 2023.
This comes as Conservative-led Wealden has managed to keep tax rises well below the rise in costs to the Council, thanks to good management.
Councillor Neil Waller, Wealden's portfolio holder for Finance, had said, “Wealden District Council has resolved to increase its share of Council Tax by 2.99% in 2023/2024 and for a band D property, this is an increase of just over £6." This is well below the increases in costs the Council incurs.
The concerns about the situation, if the Conservatives lose control of the Council after 4th May, have been raised in part due to the cost-of-living pressures families are currently under with no plan to tackle the issue laid out by the Liberal Democrats, Independents, Greens or Labour.
Residents can give their views and feedback on Conservative-led Wealden District Council’s Cost of Living Strategy, which has been created to replace the council’s current Financial Inclusion Strategy.
The purpose of the proposed strategy is to ensure the council helps to build resilient communities that residents feel engaged in and are able to live safe and healthy lives.
It also sets out how the council aims to ensure that individuals have the financial help and skills needed, but are also provided with support during difficult times and with cost of living pressures.
A Wealden district Conservatives spokesperson said, “The financial wellbeing of our residents is important to us. The general wellbeing of our residents underpins the council’s core aims and research has shown there are clear links between financial insecurity and poor mental health.
“Secondly, because of the way our services are funded, we need to ensure residents are able to pay for council services such as Council Tax and rent if they are a council tenant or leaseholder. This is because we rely on this income to deliver our services.
“Finally, the availability and access to services to support our residents is fundamental to the council’s core aims. Therefore, as well as the direct support provided by a number of council services, we do provide funding to some third-sector organisations so they can deliver support to our residents.
“We look forward to residents’ feedback on the proposed strategy.”
The draft strategy can be found here.