Sheffield council tax rise ‘can’t be ruled out’

People enjoying the sun in Sheffield's Peace Gardens
People enjoying the sun in Sheffield's Peace Gardens
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Raising council tax in Sheffield next year ‘cannot be ruled out’ as chiefs try to find £61m of savings, it has been confirmed.

Council tax in the city has been frozen for the past three years.

Coun Ben Curran, cabinet member for finance, said there were currently ‘no plans to increase it at this point’ after a public meeting on the challenge facing Sheffield Council next year.

But he told The Star: “Nothing is ruled out.

“We’ll take a considered view on it.

“Everything is on the table, so its something that if people start to say that they think we should increase council tax that’s something we could take on board.”

But he said all residents would have to be taken into consideration, as many were already ‘struggling’.

Monday night’s public meeting was held in the first bid to encourage people to ‘have their say’ on where cuts should be made - and around 100 people attended.

An animated video on the subject, screened on the night, has been created to try and reach people who would not necessarily attend public meetings.

To plug the £61m gap solely from a council tax increase would mean a rise of 37 per cent, according to the video.

The council has already cut £240m and axed 1,452 jobs.

Questions on Government funding, whether the council should share services with other local authorities as part of a combined authority and how services would be affected were asked on the night.

John Mothersole, chief executive of the council, said the authority would be ‘open-minded’ to looking at the idea of sharing services with other councils.

The £61m is £38m of cuts and £23m of additional pressures, like increased costs and demand.

Email budget@sheffield.gov.uk to send in your suggestions.