Council tax would rise by £57 a year in Sheffield, under budget proposals

A typical household in Sheffield would pay 1.10 a week more, under the proposals
A typical household in Sheffield would pay 1.10 a week more, under the proposals
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Council tax in Sheffield would rise by the maximum permitted 5.99 per cent next year, under plans published today.

The proposed increase would add just over £57 a year - or around £1.10 a week - to the bill from April for households in band A properties, which account for around 60 per cent of homes within the city.

Deputy council leader Olivia Blake says tax rise is needed due to 'repeated cuts' and 'unprecedented cost pressures'

Deputy council leader Olivia Blake says tax rise is needed due to 'repeated cuts' and 'unprecedented cost pressures'

That increase is just for Sheffield Council's share of the tax. An extra £8 per year year is being asked for to pay for policing, and an announcement is awaited over the portion for fire services.

The council's share of the tax for a band A property for 2018/19 would stand at £1009.28 under the proposals - up from £952.24 this year.

For a band D property, which is widely used as the barometer for council tax nationally, the council's share would rise from £1,428.36 this year to £1,513.92 for 2018/19.

The proposed increase consists of three per cent for the social care precept and a 2.99 per cent general rise, which is the maximum allowed by the Government without a referendum being required.

If approved, it will be the second year running council tax in Sheffield has gone up by the maximum permissible amount, following a rise of 4.99 per cent last year, since when the cap has been increased.

The council tax changes form part of the council's 2018/19 budget proposals, which are due to be considered by cabinet members next Wednesday before a decision is made at a full council meeting on March 7.

The ruling Labour group says the rise is needed to help fill a £44 million funding gap for next year, with £15 million extra needed for social care and a continuing reduction in funding from central government.

The council has already made a number of cuts for next year to help balance the books, including a £3 million-a-year reduction in its waste contract with Veolia, which will result in less frequent recycling collections, among other changes.

It claims 56 per cent of respondents who took part in consultations about the budget backed a rise in council tax.

Councillor Olivia Blake, deputy council leader and cabinet member for finance, said: "At the same time as we have seen repeated cuts, there are also unprecedented cost pressures on our services due to the national social care crisis.

"We are being forced to pick up the human cost that austerity is having on our city through increased poverty, and the impacts for children in care.

"As a council we will always prioritise the services for those in greatest need but we also have a responsibility to maintain the core services that the people of Sheffield use.

"From our budget consultation we know that this is what people want to see and we have also been able to invest in infrastructure through our capital programme in flood defences, building new homes and transforming the city centre through the retail quarter."

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, is proposing to increase his precept by £8 a year for band A properties and £12 for those in band D.

The planned increase, which is the maximum permitted, has been supported by the Police and Crime Panel.

Dr Billings says the extra money is needed as the Government failed to award any extra money for services, despite awarding police officers a two per cent pay rise.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has yet to announce its plans for the fire services precept, which it levies.