Residents will see a small increase to council tax – an extra 6.4 pence a week for the majority of properties in the borough – after Chesterfield Borough Council agreed its 2021/22 budget.
The proposals were approved by full Council on 24 February – passing the budget which this year takes account of the ongoing financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It comes as figures show the COVID-19 crisis has led to more than £7.6 million in lost revenue for the council. The authority has been proactive in tackling this – applying for and receiving around £5 million from the Government and reducing costs by £900,000 – but this still leaves a budget shortfall of £188,000.
The increase means a rise of 6.4 pence a week for the majority of properties in the borough (Band A) from April – a total rise of £3.33 on last year’s bill for the council’s services.
For a Band D property, this would amount to 9.6 pence a week, and an overall increase of £5 for 2021/22.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s leader, said: “Increasing council tax by any amount is never a decision we take lightly, and I understand that for many people this is an incredibly difficult time.
“However, over the last year the council has faced unprecedented financial pressures caused by the impact of the ongoing pandemic.
“At the start of this, the Government asked this council to spend whatever it takes to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19 – with a commitment to reimburse this in full.
“It is fair to say that we have taken full advantage of every form of Government assistance that has been available to us, but this falls significantly short of our total lost revenue, which to date stands at £7.6m. The Government has not kept its promise.
“Even with Government grants, and the savings we have made, we are still facing a budget shortfall which must be addressed so we can provide the facilities and services that our residents and businesses rely on and at the quality they rightfully expect.
“The council provides more than 50 different services for residents, including emptying bins, keeping our streets clean, providing award-winning parks and open spaces, operating sports and cultural venues, collecting waste and recycling and making sure that people’s health and wellbeing is protected through our food safety and licensing activities.
“Throughout the pandemic we are keeping these essentials running in line with Government guidance, and many of our staff have been redeployed to support the key services which are needed in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, to protect our most vulnerable residents.
“I can assure residents that the extra cash we raise thorough the council tax increase will be put to good use in advancing the bold commitments the council has set out in both our economic and community COVID-19 recovery plans – as ever, putting our communities first.”
Although Chesterfield Borough Council collects council tax, the council keeps only 10 per cent of the money collected. The remainder goes to:
- 74 per cent going to Derbyshire County Council to fund services including education, highways, libraries, children’s services and adult social care
- 12 per cent goes to Derbyshire Police
- The remaining four per cent goes to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue.
Residents in Brimington will also pay council tax to Brimington Parish Council and residents in Staveley will also pay council tax to Staveley Town Council.
Chesterfield Borough Council has no control over the increases in council tax made by other authorities.