WEALDEN'S STRONG FINANCES

Wealden’s residents are being consulted about a proposed council tax increase averaging less than 10 pence a week to pay for the District Council’s services.

These include social housing, refuse and recycling collections, planning, street cleaning, environmental protection and free car parking. The proposed increase of 2.6% in the Wealden element of council tax is the equivalent of an extra £5 a year for an average Band D property.

Through its Medium Term Financial Strategy, the Council is also looking to reduce its cost by £500,000 a year from 2021/22 through savings and new income sources.

“We have now got the General Election behind us, but there is still a large amount of uncertainty regarding local government finance and the amount of money available through Government grants,” said Councillor Bob Standley, Council Leader. “We are aware of the effect a rise in the council tax can have on people with low pay or fixed incomes.  We are now largely self-sufficient as a council.

“The small increase we are proposing is equivalent to an extra £5 a year for a Band D council tax-payer. Through it, we will be able to maintain the Council’s strong financial performance. This underpins the delivery of our ambitious Corporate Plan.”

Just 9.5% of your tax council tax bill goes to pay the services provided by Wealden District Council, with the rest going to the county council, police authority, fire authority and parish and town councils.

To take part in Wealden’s online Council tax consultation, please go to the following link on the Wealden website . The consultation also involves local town and parish councils, business groups, the Wealden Local Strategy Partnership and Council employees. It closes on Wednesday 29 January.

The budget report also covers a separate capital budget to create funding for infrastructure to enable housing development and economic growth, as well as invest in the Council’s asset base. The budget proposals were discussed at the 18 December meeting of Cabinet. You can watch a webcast of the Cabinet debate here: https://wealden.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/455702