Council tax for Wakefield households set to rise by 3.99 per cent as new budget revealed

Council tax bills for households in the Wakefield district are set to rise by just under four per cent.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 9:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 9:58 am

The local council has laid out its budget plans for the next financial year, which begins in April.

The increase in bills will be made up of a 1.99 per cent rise in council tax, combined with a two per cent hike in the adult social care precept.

In reality, that means an extra £50.77 for those living in a Band B property in the city of Wakefield, a £59.70 rise for a Band C property in Normanton, or an extra £48.52 for Band A households - the least expensive band - in South Elmsall.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

Households will see their council tax bills rise by just under four per cent from April, if the council's new budget is approved. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Council.

The flip side is that Wakefield Council is promising no cuts to frontline services this year, something it has been unable to do in recent budgets.

It will however, trim spending in a number of areas, most notably in contributions to staff pension pots.

A £416m infrastructure programme has also been announced which will see more cash spent on roads, schools and the council's carbon neutral plans.

But that figure also includes the £21m leisure facility at Pontefract Park, which is in the process of being built and work to replace street lights with new energy saving bulbs, which is well underway.

More money has been set aside for infrastructure, including roads and schools.

Money has also been set aside for tackling poverty and anti-social behaviour, both of which emerged as priorities for residents during a consultation.

Commenting on the proposals, council leader Denise Jeffery said: “My cabinet and I care about our residents, our communities and our district.

"We want to deliver investment that will support everyone to have the best quality of life and create a vibrant place where people and businesses thrive, now and in the future.

“Tackling poverty is at the forefront of our agenda. Increased living costs and continued changes to welfare benefits mean that many of our residents need us more than ever now.

The council says there are no cuts planned to frontline services this year.

“There will be no cuts to frontline services and our intention is to increase and improve services wherever possible."

The proposed budget will go before the district's 63 councillors for scrutiny on February 26.

If approved, the changes to tax bills will take effect from April 1.

Coun Jeffery said the increase was necessary to help pay for social care, the cost of which is rising for local authorities across the country.

Council leader Denise Jeffery said the government's "stop-gap fix" approach to social care meant local residents had to pay extra.

A new government bill for social care funding has been repeatedly postponed from going through Parliament.

Coun Jeffery added: "We are bitterly disappointed that the government continues to fail our older and vulnerable people.

"We absolutely need the long-term and sustainable solution they have promised so that all local authorities, and our NHS partners, can meet the increasingly complex care needs of our ageing population.

"The government’s stop-gap fix means that council tax payers are being asked, yet again, for a financial contribution.

“Many of those who took part in the budget survey understood the need to increase charges if we are to continue our services and look after our most vulnerable.

"Despite the proposed increase we believe Wakefield will still have one of the lowest council tax levels in West Yorkshire."

How much will your annual council tax bill go up by? (Rates vary locally because of town and parish council precepts)

Band B property in Pontefract, Castleford, Stanley or Horbury - Up £50.77 from £1,272.43 to £1323.20

Band A property in Ackworth - Up £45.50 from £1,140.26 to £1,185.76

Band C property in Ossett - Up £58.02 from £1,454.20 to £1,512.22

Band C property in Crigglestone - Up £58.82 from £1,474.26 to £1,533.08

Band A property in South Kirkby - Up £51.50 from £1,290.62 to £1,342.12

Band A property in the city of Wakefield - Up £43.52 from £1,090.64 to £1,134.16

Band D property in Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford, Stanley, Horbury or Ossett - Up £65.28 from £1,635.97 to £1,701.25

Local Democracy Reporting Service