Council raises Council Tax by two per cent

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Lancaster City Council will increase its portion of Council Tax by around two per cent for 2014/15.

In real terms this means households will pay an average (based on a Band D property) of an extra £3.91 or so a year – or 8p a week – to the city council from April 2014.

As 80 per cent of the district’s homes are in the lowest bands (A to C) the actual increase will be even lower than 8p a week for the majority of households.

The council says the decision was made to help to protect services in the short term.

It comes as a result of significant funding cuts from central government.

Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The council’s financial position continues to be extremely challenging.

“The government has already substantially cut the money it provides us to run our services and we expect to face further reductions in the future. By next February alone we have to address a budget shortfall of £2m and if we want to try and protect vital frontline services, a modest increase in Council Tax is necessary.”

While as the billing authority Lancaster City Council collects Council Tax, it only receives around 13 per cent of the total bill to spend on its services.

Excluding parishes, of the remaining bill, the majority goes to Lancashire County Council (73 per cent), with precepts from Lancashire Police Authority (10 per cent) and Lancashire Combined Fire Authority (four per cent) making up the rest.