South Kesteven District Council have approved their budget for 2015/16, which will see council tax frozen and an average increase in council home rent of 3.56 per cent.
The increase will see the average council home rent rise to £80.91, with the maximum being £117.25 and the minimum £53.60.
Garage rents and service charges will both rise by 2.3 per cent.
During the meeting the Labour group put forward five amendments to the budget, including an ‘escalation for social housing building programme’.
This was a proposal to raise £68 million for housing through re-financing new council homes in the district over a five year period,
Coun Terl Bryant, portfolio holder for good housing, argued that re-investment was already being made into new council homes, and cited the Cabinet’s approval on September 1 of a scheme that enables SKDC to retain rental income in full.
Labour group leader Coun Charmaine Morgan questioned the extent of this investment, and asked for a ‘more ambitious’ housing plan.
The amendment received 12 votes for and 36 votes against.
Another Labour group amendment to increase the discretionary housing payments fund, from which claims can be made by those struggling with housing costs, was also proposed and rejected. Other amendments put forward and voted against by the majority were for the provision of a community fly tipping victim fund of £15,000 for a trial period of a year, and feasibility studies for the provision of a business waste collection service and two hours free parking on a Saturday in Grantham and Stamford.
For full coverage of the council meeting and the approved budget, see Friday’s paper.