Sheffielders 'back rise in council tax'

Most people in Sheffield support a rise in council tax, a city-wide survey suggests.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 3:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 10:55 am
Council tax rose last year in Sheffield by just under five per cent

The council has been seeking residents' views on the budget, as it finalises its spending plans for the next financial year, beginning in April.

Based on the results of a survey and various consultation events, it claims the majority of those having their say would prefer to pay more council tax rather than seeing services cut.

Deputy council leader Olivia Blake

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Social care, education and waste, and recycling were identified by participants as the most important services, according a report presented today to members of the council's scrutiny management committee.

Adult and children's social care, and education and skills, meanwhile, were viewed as the areas most in need of extra spending.

A possible increase in fees and charges elicited a mixed response, though there was little public support for cutting more services instead.

People also said it was important for the council to invest in health and well-being, and in affordable housing.

Deputy council leader Olivia Blake

Deputy council leader Olivia Blake, who is also cabinet member for finance, said: "I think the results of the survey show the messages have been getting across about the council's position.

"The things people have picked out as being important fit in with what we as a a council want to prioritise."

The council is due to publish its 2018/19 budget proposals next month, with a decision scheduled for March 7.

Council tax in Sheffield rose last year by 4.99 per cent - including a three per cent precept to pay for social care - taking the annual charge for a typical 'band D' property to £1,428.

Plans for this year are yet to be revealed but spending pressures mean a further rise is likely.

As recently as autumn last year, the council said it had to find £29.7 million of further savings to balance the books in 2018/19.

It now claims to have achieved that through a variety of measures, including big savings in its waste and recycling contract with Veolia, which will result in less frequent recycling collections.