Council tax freeze supported by Scarborough councillors

More than 75 per cent of residents who responded to Scarborough Council’s budget consultation have backed the authority’s proposed council tax freeze.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 11:55 am

The council’s cabinet today backed the move with a vote to be taken on the 2021/22 budget by all councillors on Friday February 26.

The cabinet heard that so far during a public consultation 77 per cent of the 109 people who have taken part are in favour of not raising the council’s share of the precept.

Scarborough’s share of the council tax makes up approximately 13 per cent of a rate payers bill meaning that a resident in a Band D property in the borough would once again pay £239.75 for the year.

Scarborough councillors have supported a council tax freeze.

North Yorkshire County Council, which makes up around 63 per cent of the total council tax bill for residents, will tomorrow (Wednesday) vote on whether it will increase its share of the precept by 3.49 per cent, including a 1.5 per cent social care precept rise, equivalent to an extra £47.58 a year for an average household, to fund pandemic support and recovery and other priority areas.

The county’s police service is set to raise its share of the tax by £5.29 a year for a Band D property.

In total, a Band D property in Scarborough paid £1,941.68 in 2020/21.

In proposing the borough council’s budget Cllr Janet Jefferson, the portfolio holder for Corporate Resources, said: “We feel that this year we need to help every resident and, therefore, are recommending that we do not increase [Scarborough’s share] of council tax bills.”

As part of the budget Cllr Liz Colling, proposed creating a Better Places Locality fund, that would grant each of the authority’s 46 councillors £2,000 that they could spend on environmental improvement projects in their wards, similar to a scheme currently run by North Yorkshire County Council.

Cllr Colling said: “We have made a big commitment to empowering people and organisations to do more to help out communities and I think that councillors should have some resources at their disposal to meet community needs.”

Councillors in the same ward could pool their resources if needed.

This was supported unanimously by the cabinet.

The cabinet also voted to pass an amendment to the budget stating that the council would “not directly invest” in businesses that can be classed as environmentally harmful as part of the authority’s climate change emergency it declared in 2019.