24th Sep, 2018

Coventry council tax hike and budget approved

Felix Nobes 21st Feb, 2018

COUNCIL Tax in Coventry will rise by 4.9 per cent in April after the council’s budget was approved.

Coventry City Council has raised tax to compensate for government cuts to social care.

The motion to implement the tax rise passed by 49 votes to one at the budget debate on Tuesday (February 20).

Taxpayers will have to contend with an £82 increase on the annual bill for an average Band D home.

The tax hike – the same as was implemented for this financial year, 2017/18 – includes three per cent to go directly to adult social care.

The government enables councils to include the three per cent for care services for the elderly, mainly at home and in communities.

Local authorities around the country have been facing budget shortfalls – with Coventry council facing a £2.8million deficit.

The Labour-controlled council outlined the primary causes of the financial pressure as rising costs of childcare, empty city centre properties reducing rent for the council, and the increasing costs of housing the city’s rising homeless population.

And the council is now warning of having to make major cuts and savings of £21million by 2020/21 – £2million more than predicted in November.

Other decisions approved by the council included an amendment to grant £107,000 to be used for street cleansing, proposed in the Conservatives’ alternative budget.

But a Conservative amendment to allocate £120,000 to around 40 charities which are being evicted from their Coventry Point offices was voted down.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle claimed the new buildings were needed to enable the council to begin the redevelopment of the city centre.

Coun O’Boyle defended the decision, saying: “The best way out of poverty is not to send them to charity but to provide them with jobs and opportunities, to make sure people can get off benefits and into work.”

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