City council chiefs have started a consultation over their budget for next year. They are proposing a rise of 1.99% for 2015/16 on its part of the council tax — the equivalent of 1p extra per day. Had it pressed for a bigger increase, it would have triggered a referendum. The authority argues that the rise reflects its decision not to increase parking charges anywhere in the district nor at Canterbury’s park and ride stations. And it is not cutting any services, but must increase charges under its “user pays” approach. Council leader John Gilbey says this relieves general taxpayers of paying for services they do not use. The Conservative said:
“We’ll be interested to hear the views of local people on our budget proposals. The potential increase in council tax may not be popular, but the income this generates helps us to avoid cutting services or increasing charges by a greater amount. By 2018/19, we estimate we will have to find further savings of £5.1m, so these budget plans should also be seen in the light of the future financial difficulties we will undoubtedly face.”
Budget information is available at www. canterbury.gov.uk/budgetconsultation where comments can be made using an online form. The deadline for views is Friday, December 12.
Herne Bay Gazette, November 27th 2014