Each year Arun District Council decides whether to change the Council Tax Reduction scheme (CTR) for working age applicants in the district.
This year the Council has decided changes should be considered to bring the CTR in line with changes made by the Government in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.
Over the past two years, support from the Government for the scheme has reduced and has been absorbed into the general grant the Council receives.
The reduction in this grant means there is less money available, not only to help CTR, but also towards supporting the cost of delivering other services Arun provides.
The Council has carried out a consultation between Wednesday 27 July and Sunday 16 October on the proposed changes, which saw Arun receive 158 responses, 61% of them were in favour of changing the scheme.
Arun asked those responding whether the Council should increase council tax, find savings by making efficiencies to other services or use Arun’s reserves as alternatives to changing the CTR. The majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of the Council making changes to the CTR.
Councillor Dudley Wensley, Arun District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance, said: “I would like to thank those people who took the time to complete the consultation.
“Councillors will now consider the options available and the information provided by the responses to the public consultation before making a decision on the CTR.
“One of the Council’s priorities is supporting those people in our district who need our help. Arun will offer a range of payment options, including spreading the cost over 12 months, having a discretionary hardship scheme and early intervention for those who may get into arrears so the negative impacts for those affected can be lessened.
“Any savings Arun makes on the CTR could be invested into other services the Council carries out which, in turn may, help to minimise future increases in council tax, meaning residents across the district could benefit.”
Members of Overview Select Committee requested that Arun’s Cabinet recommend to Full Council that the changes are agreed and implemented from 1 April 2017.
The Overview Select Committee met on Tuesday, 22 November.