Notts: Council Tax bills could be set to rise next year

County Council leader Alan Rhodes
County Council leader Alan Rhodes

Council Tax bills could be set to rise for Nottinghamshire residents next year.

The County Council needs to make savings of over £150 million over the next three years.

That will mean inevitable cuts to public and frontline services.

And council leader Coun Alan Rhodes said he could not rule out a rise in Council Tax to help pay for this.

“We’ve not ruled Council Tax increases out and I won’t do,” he said.

“The situation we are in now is that the national government is constantly cutting local government funding and we have had a Council Tax freeze for the last four years which has cost us considerably in terms of lost services and over 2,700 jobs.

“So we will keep our options open and I’m not convinced another year’s freeze is the right way forward.”

“But we need to know what the government’s settlement is first and we won’t know that until Christmas.”

“Once we know that we’ll be able to make an important decision about whether a moderate rise in Council Tax next year is something we should be looking at.”

“Even a small rise of less than two per cent, which is less than 40p a week for the average household, would bring in £4-5 million which is money we can spend straight away.”

The potential Council Tax rise would be part of the council’s plan to save £154m over the next three years.

And Mr Rhodes says he wants the public to be at the heart of the decision-making process.

“We inherited a £130 million hole in our budget when we got elected, we then had further cuts announced by central Government and that has left us with a huge gap to fill and this is as big a challenge as we have ever faced as a council,” he continued.

“As a result, we are going to have to make some difficult decisions and we need to know what people think we should be prioritising as a council.”

“Things like day care, children’s centres, care for old people, these are things that we are being told matter to the community

“At the same time, they also say that we spend too much on highways or street lighting and this feedback will influence how we react.”

“But there has to be a balance in what is a very difficult scenario which will end in some hard choices for us.”

“But ultimately, I want people to tell us what they think is important and this is a genuine consultation and one that is very important because, at the end of the day, we are here to serve the people of Bassetlaw and the wider county.”

“And even in times of austerity, there are bright spots for the people of Bassetlaw.”

“I don’t want people to think that it’s all doom and gloom because there is some good news out there.”

“For a start, from next year, we will be paying the living wage to all county council employees, which includes 380 people in Bassetlaw and that will make a big difference to them.”

“Then there is our rolling programme of introducing 20mph zones outside all schools.”

“And we’re reversing the previous administration’s policy of turning off streetlights in villages.”