(Some) Districts given thumbs up for tax rises of up to 8%

Copied from Local Government Chronicle online
Districts given thumbs up for tax rises of up to 8%
2 January, 2013 | By Ruth Keeling

“Low cost” district councils who have been granted leeway over council tax next year could increase rates by up to 8% without holding a referendum.

LGC has identified the 50 district councils that are set to benefit from the extra flexibility over council tax setting announced in last month’s local government settlement.

Under the proposals set out by local government minister Brandon Lewis, districts within the lowest quartile of council tax rates in 2012-13 will be able to increase tax above 2% without a public vote as long as the increase is not more than £5 in cash terms.

There are 50 district councils in the ‘lowest quartile’ with average Band D council tax rates below £142. They include Breckland BC which has the lowest council tax rate in the country at £65 and where an extra £5 equates to an 8% increase, as well as West Oxfordshire DC and Hambleton DC, where a £5 rise is a 6% increase.

Mr Lewis, speaking to councillors during a Q&A the day after the announcement, said it was only fair that “low cost” authorities be granted some additional flexibility. However, he said it was not clear the same flexibility would be offered after 2013-14.

The potential rises available to each of the 50 councils is listed below. There is no indication yet that any of the councils in question plan to take advantage of the extra flexibility available to them.

Council Maximum increase without a referendum (£5)
Breckland 8%
West Oxfordshire 6%
Hambleton 6%
South Staffordshire 5%
Tewkesbury 5%
Basingstoke & Deane 5%
North Dorset 5%
Wychavon 5%
Hinckley & Bosworth 4%
East Lindsey 4%
Broxbourne 4%
Broadland 4%
South Cambridgeshire 4%
Vale of White Horse 4%
South Oxfordshire 4%
East Devon 4%
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk 4%
Cherwell 4%
East Northamptonshire 4%
West Dorset 4%
Exeter 4%
Charnwood 4%
Stratford-on-Avon 4%
Test Valley 4%
Huntingdonshire 4%
Wellingborough 4%
Sedgemoor 4%
Rushcliffe 4%
Malvern Hills 4%
South Norfolk 4%
West Somerset 4%
Wycombe 4%
Chichester 4%
Eastleigh 4%
Daventry 4%
East Hampshire 4%
South Kesteven 4%
Taunton Deane 4%
Runnymede 4%
Forest Heath 4%
Blaby 4%
South Hams 4%
North Norfolk 4%
East Cambridgeshire 4%
North Kesteven 4%
Chesterfield 4%
Horsham 4%
Fareham 4%
Ashford 4%
Ribble Valley 4%