Witney News - Council Tax remains second lowest in England

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Council Tax remains second lowest in England

West Oxfordshire District Council’s share of the Council Tax for a Band D property in 2008/2009 has been set at £74.88.

Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council said: “The Figure of £74.88 represents an increase of £3.52 per annum or 4.9% on the tax levied in the current year”.

“At an average of £1.44p per week it is less than the price of a cup of coffee in the High Street and for this you get your bins emptied, waste recycled, streets swept, bus passes paid for, public conveniences, leisure centres, housing and planning services and the provision of free off-street car parking equivalent and much, much more.

“I am confident this will leave the Council levying the second lowest charge again out of 238 shire districts in England and the lowest in Oxfordshire by some margin. By comparison, the highest charge in Oxfordshire is Oxford City at a level of £237, more than three times our charge.”

Cllr Norton highlighted some of the ways the Council is investing in the District in the coming year:-

· Funding for Shopmobility to become part of the main Council budget;
· Taking on new responsibilities including on- street parking control and dealing with stray dogs;
· More improvements to fitness suite equipment in the Council’s leisure centres;
· Continued investment in affordable housing and housing grants with at lestt £4.2 million allocated over the next five years;
· On going additional costs associated with land drainage work following the July 2007 floods;
· Wider shopping and leisure opportunities through the Marriotts Close development

This was the first budget for Cllr Simon Hoare as Cabinet Member for Resources and he said: “This is a successful budget built on strong foundations. Our aim to reduce the reliance on reserves is already starting to be achieved as huge efficiency savings are being made this year.

“The budget savings we are making coincide with the worst financial settlement from the government in living memory. And yet we are expected to do more with new responsibilities and no additional government support.

“I therefore congratulate the officers and councillors for their work on the budget – it has been a real team effort.”

The budget was agreed by the Council at its annual meeting held today, Wednesday, 27th February.

Posted : 28/02/2008 14:15:25

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