For the first time in six years, Arun District Council’s Cabinet is proposing to increase council tax in order to keep the authority in a strong position over the coming years.
The proposal has been made to protect the many and varied services which Arun residents benefit from, such as visible ones like refuse and recycling collections and street cleaning.
Other services are support-based and include homeless prevention, the Think Family Programme, (a partnership scheme offering support and intervention to vulnerable children and families with additional or complex needs) and the Community Safety team which works to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour.
More key areas which will benefit from an increase in council tax are environmental health, licensing, housing, revenues and benefits, parks and open spaces, planning, regeneration, wellbeing, leisure and building control.
Councillor Mrs Gillian Brown, Leader of Arun District Council, said: “Like all local authorities, Arun District Council has to plan carefully over the next few years as finances will be tight. However, the future offers several exciting opportunities too. We are proposing to build a fantastic state-of-the-art leisure centre in Littlehampton and are working on really exciting plans which will change the face of Bognor Regis seafront.
“It’s important to remember that the Council provides a vast number of services, many of which have a huge impact on people’s lives, such as those which help to keep residents safe or aim to improve the health and wellbeing of those living in the district.”
The proposal is to increase council tax by 1.95%, which equates to an extra 6p per week for an average band D property.
If agreed at a Special Council meeting on 23 February 2016, the increase will be introduced to bills from April 2016. The charge will be calculated on Arun District Council’s part of the council tax bill and will raise an extra £182,000 a year.
Cllr Mrs Gillian Brown added: “The extra revenue will enable the Council to deliver its essential services to the public at a cost of just six-pence extra per week for the average household. We are constantly looking for smarter ways of working so that residents receive quality and value for money. The Council’s Vision 2020 strategy will help Arun to cope with the significant financial challenges ahead whilst continuing to offer our residents a range of really fantastic services.”