West Oxfordshire remains second lowest Council Tax
West Oxfordshire remains second lowest Council Tax in England
West Oxfordshire's 2007/08 agreed an annual Council Tax of £71.36 at Band D for 2007/08 at its budget meeting on Thursday 1st March. This represents an annual increase of £3.36 or 4.9% on the tax levied in the current year.
Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council, proposed the budget and said, "I am confident that this will leave the council levying the second lowest charge out of the 238 shire district Council's in England yet again and the lowest in Oxfordshire by some margin."
Cllr Norton outlined some of the investments the council is making during 2007/08:
* Continuing support for more affordable housing which is a council priority. In addition over half a million pounds has been allocated to improve private sector housing through disabled facilities grants and renewal grants.
* Conclusion of refurbishment of the public conveniences throughout the district.
* Improvements to the equipment in fitness suites in our Leisure Centres.
* Continued support for the West Oxfordshire Citizens Advice Bureau of around £150,000 per year.
* £30,000 allocated as additional funding for the new Joint Use Leisure Facility in Eynsham.
* Significant funds have been secured to help provide the infrastructure for the new developments in Carterton with the Country Park, Community Hall and Play Areas and in North East Witney with the Community Hall and Sports Pavilion.
Cllr Mary Neale, Cabinet Member for Finance seconded the proposal saying it was both realistic and prudent. However, Cllr Neale warned of significant spending pressures building up in respect of the Concessionary Fares travel scheme. She said, "The current scheme costs have risen £165,000 over a two year period- I have grave concerns over the future costs of a national scheme and who will be left footing the bill."
Cllr Norton concluded his speech by saying, "I think the Council Tax proposals set out by Cabinet represent continuing excellent Value for Money for West Oxfordshire residents. The budget represents additional services and additional investment for only an additional 6.5 pence per week for the average Band D property. A £71.36p annual charge equates to an average of £1.37p per week per household for all services provided by our District Council. This is less than a quarter of the average weekly pocket money received by children in this country.
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