Stockport residents facing 3.5 per cent council tax rise from April

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Council tax is set to go up by 3.5pc in Stockport from April under new budget proposals for the coming financial year.

It means an average Band D household faces paying out an extra £61.25 over the course of the 12 months – which works out as just over £5 per month.

This will put bills up to £2,120.40 before Andy Burnham’s mayoral and policing precepts come into the equation, to make up the final figure.

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Earlier this year town hall chiefs identified £10m in savings which they said would ‘enable new ways of working whilst delivering a robust and resilient budget’.

But this still left a further £10m to find through council tax, business rates, reserves, grants and one-off monies.

The council tax rise is made up of a 1pc increase in the general levy and a 2.5pc uplift in the adult social care precept (1.5pc deferred from last year).

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Deputy leader Councilor Tom McGee said it had been a ‘very hard decision’ – but the government expected councils to take full advantage of their local tax raising powers.

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“They say this in all the papers they sent out, that we maximize the adult social care precept. They have assumed we will take all of it,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“They have already taken off money from our grants, if we don’t take the 2.5pc we are double hit.

“Equally they assume we will take 2pc on council tax to pay for things like highways, waste collection and looked after children.”

The proposed revenue budget will go before cabinet for approval next Tuesday (Feb 1) before being voted on by the full council later in the month.

Councilor Tom McGee, deputy leader, Stockport Council

According to the revenue budget report, the council tax rise will bring in an additional £3.3m for the town hall coffers.

However, by putting bills up by 3.5pc – rather than the £4.5m allowed without recourse to a referendum – it will forgo around £1.7m in additional revenue.

The report reads: “In doing this we are ensuring we meet our aim that the Council’s 2022/23 Budget and MTFP remains robust, resilient and stable to enable the service transformation to respond to the financial challenge ahead.

“At the same time, we are also recognizing the impact on residents by not increasing council tax by the maximum allowable amount.”

It adds that bosses have also taken into consideration the continuing impact of the pandemic on residents and ‘the financial hardship it has created across the borough, the need to maintain support for residents who ‘face financial difficulties’.

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And they have also weighed up the impact not increasing council tax – and instead further cutting service budgets or increasing costs – would have on Stockport residents.

Last week Andy Burnham announced plans for a £10 council tax increase for police in Greater Manchester.

For those in average Band D properties this would mean a £10 rise, putting the annual rate up from £218.30 to £228.30.

Band B properties would see an increase of £7.77, if the proposal is approved.

Stockport councils budget consultation runs until Thursday January 27 and can be found here.

The public can also respond to the police precept consultation at www.gmconsult.org by Thursday, January 27.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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