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Council tax intentions in 2013

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17 January, 2013

The government has once again offered funding to local authorities willing to freeze council tax, but it is not clear the take up will be as enthusiastic as it was last year (90% of councils) or the year before (100%).

The annual LGC Council Tax Survey took the temperature of finance directors in November, shortly after the chancellor announced the latest funding deal, and found only 55% were planning to freeze council tax, 22.4% were planning to increase council tax and 22.4% were unsure. (The same survey the year before showed 80% freezing, 4% increasing and 16% not knowing).

While ministers emphasise councils’ “moral duty” not to pile financial pressure on residents, councils are looking for alternative sources of income in the face of significant reductions in central government funding. While the freeze funding the government provides lasts a year or two, it does not last for ever and when it does come to an end it presents yet another budget reduction with which councils must deal.

I’m betting this time there will be more councils - a quarter, maybe even a third - increasing council tax and arguing a further year of freeze is incompatible with protecting front line services.

Those increasing council tax have to consider the other half of the government’s council tax policy, and that is the requirement for councils to hold a referendum if they wish to increase charges above a certain percentage set by the secretary of state, this year 2%.

Although it is highly unlikely that anyone will decide to run a costly and probably unwinnable referendum, LGC’s tally of intentions shows a number of councils increasing above 2% and this is because there are a couple of exceptions to the 2% rule.

First, the referendum rules set by the Department for Communities & Local Government mean councils with significant levy payments to bodies responsible for services such as waste and transport can have variable referendum trigger points. Manchester City Council and Rochdale MBC are two examples of this situation, as reported by LGC. (And the government has now announced it will close this “loophole” next year.)

Second, the government has made an exception of districts with the lowest tax levels. Examples include South Hams DC and East Lindsey DC, as reported by LGC.

As councils ponder all these issues and decide whether or not to accept the government’s funding to freeze council tax in 2013-14, LGC’s live council tax blog will be keeping track of authorities’ proposals and final decisions.

* The table is based on press reports and is not a complete record of proposals made by councils. An authority’s plans may have changed since inclusion in this table. Please email any queries or comments or leave your message below.

Councils intending to cut council tax

CouncilControlIntention
Hammersmith & Fulham LBCCon-3
Windsor & Maidenhead RBCCon-3
South Oxfordshire DCCon-2.5
Lancashire CCCon-2
Braintree BCCon-1
Uttlesford DCCon-1
Bournemouth BCCon-0.7
Hounslow LBCLab-0.5
Tendring DCCon-0.5
South Holland DCCon-0.25
Staffordshire CCCon-0.1

 

Councils intending to increase council tax

CouncilControlIntention
Wakefield MBCLab1.45
Harlow BCLab1.5
North Somerset CouncilCon1.5
Richmondshire DCNOC1.5
West Lindsey DCCon1.5
Derby City CouncilCon1.55
Kirklees MBCLab1.6
Lewisham LBCLab1.75
Southend-on-Sea CouncilNOC1.75
Lichfield DCCon1.8
Liverpool City CouncilLab1.8
Croydon LBCCon1.85
Allerdale BCNOC1.9
Barrow-in-Furness BCLab1.9
Bromley LBCCon1.9
Bromsgrove DCCon1.9
Cheshire West & Chester CouncilCon1.9
Chiltern DCCon1.9
City of York CouncilLab1.9
Copeland BCLab1.9
Dacorum BCCon1.9
Guildford BCCon1.9
Leicester City CouncilLab1.9
Maidstone BCCon1.9
North Hertfordshire DCCon1.9
Reading BCLab1.9
Slough BCLab1.9
Stockton on Tees MBCNOC1.9
Telford & Wrekin DCLab1.9
Tonbridge & Malling BCCon1.9
Tunbridge Wells BCCon1.9
West Devon BCCon1.9
Woking BCCon1.9
Wokingham BCCon1.9
Borough of PooleNOC1.95
Christchurch BCCon1.95
Elmbridge BCCon1.95
Gravesham BCLab1.95
Hull City CouncilLab1.95
Milton Keynes CouncilNOC1.95
Norwich City CouncilLab1.95
Nottingham City CouncilLab1.95
Portsmouth City CouncilLib Dem1.95
Brighton & Hove City CouncilNOC1.96
Cornwall CouncilNOC1.97
Tamworth DCCon1.97
Chelmsford BCCon1.98
Ipswich BCLab1.98
Sevenoaks BCCon1.98
Warrington BCLab1.98
Bristol City CouncilNOC1.99
Calderdale MBCNOC1.99
Cambridgeshire CCCon1.99
Canterbury City CouncilCon1.99
Epsom & Ewell BCNOC1.99
Herefordshire CouncilCon1.99
Kingston upon Thames RBCLib Dem1.99
Maldon DCCon1.99
Medway CouncilCon1.99
Mole Valley DCNOC1.99
Oxfordshire CCCon1.99
Surrey CCCon1.99
Burnley BCLab1.995
East Hampshire DCCon1.998
Aylesbury Vale DCCon2
Cambridge City CouncilNOC2
Cannock Chase DCLab2
Castle Point BCCon2
Darlington BCLab2
East Cambridgeshire DCCon2
Harrow LBCLab2
Lancaster City CouncilNOC2
Luton BCLab2
Middlesbrough CouncilLab2
Plymouth City CouncilLab2
Preston City CouncilLab2
Reigate & Banstead BCCon2
Southampton City CouncilLab2
Spelthorne BCCon2
West Berkshire CouncilCon2
Wirral MBCLab2
Stockport MBCLab2.5
Wigan MBCLab2.7
Wandsworth LBCCon3.1
Gedling Lab3.4
Bolton MBCLab3.5
Chesterfield BCLab3.5
Oldham MBCLab3.5
Rochdale MBCLab3.5
South Hams DCCon3.5
Ashford BCCon3.55
Runnymede BCCon3.62
Huntingdonshire DCCon3.63
Manchester City CouncilLab3.7
Exeter City CouncilLab4
South Kesteven DCCon4
Test Valley BCCon4.1
South Cambridgeshire DCCon4.3
East Lindsey DCCon4.4
North Dorset DCCon4.77
Chichester DCCon£5
Breckland DCCon7.78

 

Councils intending to freeze council tax

CouncilControlIntention
Adur DCConFreeze
Amber Valley BCConFreeze
Arun DCConFreeze
Babergh DCNOCFreeze
Barking & Dagenham LBCLabFreeze
Barnet LBCConFreeze
Basildon BCConFreeze
Basingstoke & Deane BCConFreeze
Bassetlaw DCLabFreeze
Bath & North East Somerset CouncilNOCFreeze
Bedford BCNOCFreeze
Birmingham City CouncilLabFreeze
Blackburn with Darwen BCLabFreeze
Blackpool CouncilLabFreeze
BOSTON ConFreeze
Bracknell Forest CouncilConFreeze
Brent LBCLabFreeze
Brentwood BCConFreeze
Broadland BCConFreeze
Broxbourne BCConFreeze
Buckinghamshire CCConFreeze
Camden LBCLabFreeze
Carlisle City CouncilLabFreeze
Central Bedfordshire CouncilConFreeze
Charnwood BCConFreeze
Cheltenham BCConFreeze
Cherwell DCConFreeze
Cheshire East CouncilConFreeze
Chorley BCLabFreeze
Colchester BCNOCFreeze
Corby City CouncilLabFreeze
Cotswold DCConFreeze
Council of the Isles of ScillyNOCFreeze
Coventry City CouncilLabFreeze
Crawley BCConFreeze
Cumbria CCConFreeze
Dartford BCConFreeze
Derbyshire CCConFreeze
Devon CCConFreeze
Doncaster MBCLabFreeze
Dorset CCConFreeze
Dudley MBCLabFreeze
Durham CCLabFreeze
Ealing LBCLabFreeze (two years)
East Devon DCConFreeze
East Hertfordshire DCConFreeze
East Riding of Yorkshire CouncilConFreeze
East Sussex CCConFreeze
Eastbourne BCConFreeze
Enfield LBCLabFreeze
Epping Forest BCConFreeze
Erewash BCConFreeze
Essex CCConFreeze
Fareham BCConFreeze
Forest Heath DCConFreeze
Forest of Dean BCNOCFreeze
Fylde BCConFreeze
Gateshead Council LabFreeze
Gloucester City CouncilConFreeze
Gloucestershire CCConFreeze
Gosport BCConFreeze
Great Yarmouth BCLabFreeze
Greenwich LBCLabFreeze (two years)
Hambleton DCConFreeze
Hampshire CCConFreeze
Harborough BCConFreeze
Haringey LBCLabFreeze
Harrogate BCConFreeze
Hart DCNOCFreeze
Hartlepool BCLabFreeze
Hastings BCLabFreeze
Havant BCConFreeze
Havering LBCConFreeze
Hertfordshire CCConFreeze
Hertsmere BCConFreeze
Hillingdon LBCConFreeze (two years)
Hinckley & Bosworth BCLib DemFreeze
Horsham DCConFreeze
Hyndburn BCLabFreeze (three years)
Isle of Wight CouncilConFreeze
Islington LBCLabFreeze (two years)
Kensington & Chelsea RBCConFreeze
Kent CCConFreeze
Kettering BCConFreeze
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk BCConFreeze
Knowsley MBCLabFreeze
Lambeth LBCLabFreeze (two years)
Leeds City CouncilLabFreeze
Leicestershire CCConFreeze
Lincolnshire CCConFreeze
Mansfield DCConFreeze
Melton BCConFreeze
Merton LBCNOCFreeze
Mid Devon DCConFreeze
Mid Suffolk DCConFreeze
Mid Sussex DCConFreeze
New Forest DCConFreeze
Newcastle Upon Tyne City CouncilLabFreeze
Newcastle-under-Lyme BCLabFreeze
Norfolk CCConFreeze
North Devon DCNOCFreeze
North East Lincolnshire CouncilLabFreeze
North Lincolnshire CouncilConFreeze
North Norfolk DCConFreeze
North Tyneside CouncilLabFreeze
North Warwickshire BCLabFreeze
North Yorkshire CCConFreeze
Northampton BCConFreeze
Northamptonshire CCConFreeze
Northumberland CCNOCFreeze
Nottinghamshire CCConFreeze
Pendle BCNOCFreeze
Peterborough City CouncilConFreeze
Redbridge LBCNOCFreeze
Redditch BCLabFreeze
Ribble Valley BCConFreeze
Richmond upon Thames RBCConFreeze
Rossendale BCLabFreeze
Rother DCConFreeze
Rotherham MBCLabFreeze
Rugby BCConFreeze
Rushmoor BCConFreeze
Rutland CCConFreeze
Ryedale DCConFreeze
Salford City CouncilLabFreeze
Sandwell MBCLabFreeze
Scarborough BCConFreeze
Sefton MBCLabFreeze
Selby DCConFreeze
Sheffield City CouncilLabFreeze
Shepway DCConFreeze
Shropshire CouncilConFreeze
Solihull MBCConFreeze
Somerset CCConFreeze
South Derbyshire DCConFreeze
South Gloucestershire CouncilNOCFreeze
South Lakeland DCLib DemFreeze
South Norfolk DCConFreeze
South Ribble BCConFreeze
South Somerset DCLib DemFreeze
South Staffordshire DCConFreeze
South Tyneside MBCLabFreeze
Southwark LBCLabFreeze
St Albans City & BCNOCFreeze
St Edmundsbury BCConFreeze
St Helens MBCLabFreeze
Stafford BCConFreeze
Staffordshire Moorlands DCNOCFreeze
Stoke on Trent City CouncilLabFreeze
Stratford-on-Avon DCConFreeze
Stroud DCNOCFreeze
Suffolk CCConFreeze
Suffolk Coastal DCConFreeze
Sunderland City CouncilLabFreeze
Sutton LBCLib DemFreeze
Swale BCConFreeze
Swindon CouncilConFreeze
Tandridge DCConFreeze
Taunton Deane BCConFreeze
Teignbridge DCConFreeze
Tewkesbury BCConFreeze
Thanet BCNOCFreeze
Torbay CouncilConFreeze
Tower Hamlets LBCLabFreeze
Trafford MBCConFreeze
Vale of White Horse DCConFreeze
Waltham Forest LBCLabFreeze (two years)
Warwick BCConFreeze
Warwickshire CCConFreeze
Watford BCLib DemFreeze
Waveney DCNOCFreeze
Waverley BCConFreeze
Wealden DCConFreeze
Welywn Hatfield BCConFreeze
West Dorset DCConFreeze
West OxfordshireConFreeze
West Sussex CCConFreeze
Westminster City CouncilConFreeze
Wiltshire CouncilConFreeze
Wolverhampton City CouncilLabFreeze
Worcester City CouncilNOCFreeze
Worcestershire CCConFreeze
Worthing BCConFreeze
Wychavon DCConFreeze
Wycombe BCConFreeze
Wyre DCConFreeze
Wyre Forest DCNOCFreeze

 

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