Scarborough Council plans to increase council tax to make savings

Council tax in Scarborough could be set to rise.
Council tax in Scarborough could be set to rise.

Council tax payers in Scarborough are facing up to three more years of rises under plans from the borough council.

Scarborough Council has revealed its intentions as it needs to make almost £5 million in savings between 2019 and 2022.

The first rise will see a 2.99% increase for residents in Scarborough in the year 2019/20, the equivalent of an extra £6.82 for a Band D property.

The provisional plan is then to increase bills by at least £5 for the next two financial years.

A report from the council’s finance director Nick Edwards, which will go before the authority’s cabinet on Tuesday next week (11th), states: “Given the funding pressures the council faces it is proposed that a 2.99% increase be applied for a Band D property for the 2019/20 year; being on par with the maximum allowed increase.

“This will generate long-term additional income of £262k per annum.

“The budget projections for 2020/21 and 2021/22 currently assume a £5 increase for a Band D equivalent property, however, given the council’s financial position the maximum amount allowed under the referendum threshold for the year in question will be recommended for approval.”

Scarborough Council’s precept makes up 13% of a ratepayers council tax bill, with 68% going to North Yorkshire County Council. The rest is made up of payments to the police and fire services and also a social care element, which is also controlled by the county council.

Mr Edwards’ report shows that the borough council has made £18 million in savings from its revenue budget since 2010 and new savings are proving harder to come by. He adds that projections show that savings of at least £4.783m need to be made in the period to 2022.

His report states: “As staffing resources reduce and savings become harder to identify it is becoming apparent that the length of time needed to deliver savings is increasing.

“Like many other local authorities, the council is keen to pursue commercial opportunities, which can generate financial returns to support the revenue budget, rather than relying purely on cuts in service or expenditure.”

The draft budget will go before the cabinet next week before being voted on by the full council next year.