Increase in Lichfield District Council’s share of council tax bill given green light

A rise in Lichfield District Council’s share of the council tax bill has been approved.

The move will see an average Band D property pay an extra £5 – an increase of 3.45%.

The rise in the precept means the overall increase is on course to be more than £50 a year.

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council, insisted the local authority needed to raise its share of the tax bill in order to make ends meet.

“We have voiced concerns with local MPs following the autumn statement,” he said. “And times are extremely difficult for councils.

“There have been challenges we have had to meet before and we will do all we can to make sure we deliver core services.”

Opposition Labour councillors voted against the rise, while UKIP and Lib Dem representatives abstained.

The leader of the Labour group, Cllr Sue Woodward, said she could not support the rise – but did admit she felt for her Conservative counterparts.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

“I feel sorry for the Cabinet who are having to defend the Government’s decisions,” she said.

“There has been a complete change of emphasis, from capping rises because councils can’t be trusted, but now the goalposts have been moved. It’s part of an ideological move to shift the emphasis off income tax and onto local taxation.

“Because every resident has to pay some portion of the council tax bill, this means that even those on the lowest incomes will feel this rise.”

Cllr Woodward also raised concerns over “unknowns”, including the New Homes Bonus.

Colin Greatorex

Cllr Colin Greatorex

But the Conservative Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Colin Greatorex, branded the Labour leader’s decision to oppose the precept rise as “perverse”.

“We’ve put the increase in to cover these unknowns,” he said.

“So it’s perverse that this would not be backed by Cllr Woodward.”

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.