Gedling council slams government funding as it raises council tax

Gedling Borough Council leader Cllr John Clarke (right) and deputy leader Michael Paine (left)
By Jamie Waller, Local Democracy Reporter

Gedling Borough Council’s new budget is likely to see residents’ council tax bills go up by nearly three per cent from April.

The authority has blamed government support, saying it has consistently been one of the lowest-funded councils in the country.

The 2.988 per cent rise in council tax would be an annual increase of £3.64 for Band A properties and £4.25 for Band B, which make up the majority of properties in the district.

Leaders at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (February 21) said they were “sick and tired” of a lack of funding.

Budget papers say the council has consistently been in the bottom three per cent of English and Welsh councils for Core Spending Power – the government’s method of measuring resources.

It was the overall lowest in 2020/21 and 2021/22, and is predicted to be seventh worst in the financial year starting in April.

Core Spending Power takes into account central government support, council tax and business rate income.

Deputy leader Councillor Michael Payne (Lab) said: “I am sick and tired of seeing this year and year out.

“Over the lifetime of this Parliament, Gedling Borough Council has never found itself out of bottom nine of 349 local authorities in England and Wales in terms of the money it receives from the government.

“We’ve never asked to be given millions of additional pounds of money; we’ve just asked to be treated fairly.

“There is lots of criticism about councils increasing tax but not taking fat out of the system. Just this year, we’ve taken £406,000 out of our own budget, which mean cuts to local jobs and services.

“Why is money being taken away from Gedling residents and sent to the wealthy and leafy boroughs down south?”

The council will need to find £3.5m in savings for the next three financial years in order to balance its budget.

It expects that council tax will need to be raised by the maximum threshold of 2.99 per cent each year during this time.

A full meeting of Gedling Borough Council will sign off on the council tax proposals on Wednesday, March 6.

A spokesperson for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “Gedling Borough Council’s Core Spending Power (CSP) allocation of £12.4 million – an increase of £0.68 million or 5.8 per cent compared to the funding in 2023-24.

“We recognise councils are facing challenges and that is why we recently announced an additional £600 million support package for councils across England, increasing their overall funding for the upcoming financial year to £64.7 billion – a 7.5 per cent increase in cash terms.”

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