Stevenage councillors agree council tax for 2017

25 Feb 2016

Due to further Government funding cuts, Stevenage Borough Council has this evening announced an increase to its portion of the council tax for the first time since 2009.

With an increase in Hertfordshire County Council’s element by 3.99%, including a 2% rise for the social care precept, and a 0.55% decrease from Hertfordshire Police, council tax levels for Stevenage will increase by 2.65% for 2016/17. For a Band D property, the total council tax charge will be £1,527.14.

Each Band D household will be paying Stevenage Borough Council 53p a day for services including doorstep refuse and recycling collections, parks and play areas, community safety, cemeteries, environmental health, and leisure and cultural facilities such as the Museum.

The majority of households in Stevenage fall into Band C. Stevenage Borough Council will receive £172.02 a year – 47p a day - from them.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Sharon Taylor, told councillors at this evening’s Full Council meeting: “For the last six years I have been able to tell residents that our council tax rate is frozen but today I can’t do that. The Government has taken almost £5 million from our grant and in order to maintain the services that Stevenage people value so highly, we have no option but to make up the shortfall by increasing council tax.
“We have kept the increase to a minimum. Stevenage people will pay this council around 50p a day. For the cost of a pint of milk, we will provide more than 120 services that mean our valued 86,000 residents can live in comfort, safety and security.”

Stevenage Borough Councillors also heard this evening about proposals to spend this year’s New Homes Bonus.

Cllr Taylor said: “Following another successful year in terms of new housing delivery, the council has received its New Homes bonus totalling more than £1.5million. Now, more than ever, we need to invest in our town and we are proposing to use this money to fund a series of initiatives that will benefit many community members.

“I will allocate £583,000 towards improvements for our neighbourhoods. We will employ three neighbourhood wardens who will champion the areas they are responsible for and work with residents, councillors and council staff to co-operatively improve their neighbourhoods. Whether it be play areas, open spaces, garages or shrub beds, these wardens will be the single point of contact to ensure a council-wide joined up approach to improving the environment for our residents.

“Our apprenticeship programme at the council is paying dividends and I will be investing £111,000 to enable us to continue to develop a skilled and engaged workforce. We will also be investing £49,500 in our No More project, which helps people address serious anti-social behaviour, and a further £36,000 towards the cost of new initiatives to tackle homelessness.  

“Stevenage is also celebrating its 70th anniversary of being a new town this year and I would like to commemorate this milestone by allocating £40,000 towards a range of celebratory events, starting at Stevenage Day on 12 June and culminating in a spectacular firework display in November.”

Cllr Taylor concluded by saying: “We are coping with the largest cuts ever to local government and still managing to do really good things for the town.”

Notes to editors:
The total Council Tax bill for Stevenage for 2016/2017 will be:

Band A £1,018.09
Band B £1,187.78
Band C £1,357.46
Band D £1,527.14
Band E £1,866.50
Band F £2,205.87
Band G £2,545.23
Band H £3,054.28

For every pound of council tax paid, Hertfordshire County Council gets 76p plus 1p for social care, Hertfordshire Police get 13p and Stevenage Borough Council gets 10p.