PROTECTING services is the aim of Stratford District Council’s budget for the coming year.
That was the message from leader Tony Jefferson as SDC agreed to raise its share of council tax by 3.3 per cent.
Residents in an average Band D property will have to pay £154.12, an increase of £5, to SDC.
This means services provided by SDC – including recycling and waste collection, planning, street cleaning, housing, housing benefits, leisure services and children’s play areas – will cost £2.96 a week for a Band D household.
Coun Jefferson said: “We know just how challenging the past year has been for residents and businesses across our district.
“This is a carefully considered budget, prioritising key areas such as housing and tackling climate change to help protect the environment for future generations together with other projects, including tourism promotion to invest in our district and communities.
“The levels of uncertainty in the wider economy remain extremely high. The prudent approach we are adopting will enable us to be in a better position to cope with any unexpected shocks.
“Until we receive greater clarity about our longer term financial position, we have endeavoured to protect the provision of services to residents for next year. Although we are expecting to make significant savings through our ambition to merge with Warwick District Council, the budget in future years will be extremely dependent upon the level of support from Government. The details of the Government’s Spending Review later this year will, therefore, be crucial for the longer term provision of services.
“Covid-19 has had, and continues to have, a massive impact upon the wider district and on the council. The world has changed, it continues to change and we have to continually adapt to that changed world. There is no point pretending that we can ignore the changing world. That would simply be to deny reality and to store up even more difficult decisions for the future.”
Although SDC acts as the collecting agent for council tax, it only receives 7.4 per cent of the total bill paid by residents. Warwickshire County Council receives the lion’s share of 76.7 per cent. It recently agreed a 3.74 hike. Warwickshire Police, which accounts for 12.7per cent,
has raised its share by 3.85 per cent.
Neighbouring Warwick District Council, which SDC is looking to merge with, has frozen its council tax share for 2022/23.