Council budget agreed - council tax rise 'just 7p a week'

The 2019/20 Lewes District Council budget for the coming year was passed tonight (25/2/19), including efficiency savings of £400,000 and new income generation totalling £200,000.

A council tax increase of 1.99% is 1% less than the government cap and equates to an extra 7p a week on a Band D property or £3.65 per year.

72% of the council tax bill, the largest share, is levied by East Sussex County Council. Lewes District Council (10%), Sussex Police (8%), East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (5%) and parish councils (5% average) receive much smaller amounts.

Councillor Bill Giles, Cabinet Member for Finance, said:

“This healthy financial position follows three years of maintaining a balanced budget through efficiency savings and a firm control of expenditure, as well as careful investment in new and existing properties.

“I feel that it is vital that we make every effort to take great care of the money which we take from our hard pressed residents and businesses.  I can only say that a lot of other councils would be pleased to be in a similar healthy financial situation.” 

In addition to government revenue support grant funding being stopped, the council has also had to budget for a £200,000 cut in new homes bonus.

Councillor Giles added:

“We can partly offset the funding reductions through additional business rates growth income as a result of being part of the East Sussex business rates retention pilot.

“Above all I am pleased that we have managed to keep the council tax rise to just 7p a week.   Of course I’d rather no increase at all but at a time of such pressure on public spending that simply is not feasible.”

Published 26 February 2019