South Kesteven councillors vote in favour of council tax increase


South Kesteven District Council has voted to increase its share of council tax by £5 a year as it looks set to lose £1.2 million over the next four years.

The amount is based on the recommendation from Cabinet of a £5 increase for a Band D property following careful consideration and taking into account the views from the community who were asked to vote on council tax levels for 2018/19.

The budget included a number of new growth opportunities some of which have already been approved by council this year, including The Big Clean, Invest SK and leisure and arts.

It will also have an increased focus on affordable housing, car parking charges, investing and attracting tourism into the area, a business waste scheme and improvement to the local environment.

These will be funded through a number of new initiatives designed to deliver savings over the budget period, including the use of reserves.

Several councillors raised concerns about the use of the local priorities reserve to part fund the Big Clean and the use of the pension reserve to contribute towards employer contributions.

Coun Adam Stokes, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “This is a very bold budget. The council needs to invest an additional £2.9 million to deliver and maintain the 100 plus services we deliver to every resident and ward in the district. We still remain one of the lowest taxing councils in the county.”

Coun Peter Moseley added: “The budget shows a huge amount of ambition. It is a very aspirational budget that has been carefully costed. It is a budget that says we are changing.”

Councillors voted in favour of a rise in council tax with 24 voting for the increase, five voting against and one abstention.