Stockton council raises tax by 1.9 per cent

Darlington and Stockton Times: Stockton Borough Council Stockton Borough Council

A COUNCIL has formally agreed to raise council tax by 1.9 per cent from April.

Stockton Borough Council ratified its budget at a Full Council meeting in Stockton Town Hall on Wednesday night.

An alternative budget was proposed by leader of the Conservatives, Ken Lupton, who recommended freezing the council tax.

Coun Lupton argued the authority could take up a Government grant worth 0.9 per cent of the overall budget if it froze council tax. Any shortfall could be taken from reserves and he pointed out the council was due to run a surplus.

He said: “We have £23m in reserves, a very healthy cushion that has been taken out of council tax-payers’ pockets. Now is the time to take a less risk-averse approach and give some much-needed respite to our tax-payers.”

However Coun Jim Beall, Labour’s deputy leader of the council, said reserves are there for emergencies and the council has to keep some money in reserve by law.

Freezing the tax would lead to a bigger deficit in future years and there was the possibility the Government could impose unexpected in-year cuts, as it has done in previous years.

He also argued that freezing the council tax now would lead to a much bigger hike for tax-payers in the future.

James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, said the authority should have taken up a Government offer of a grant to freeze the council tax.

He said: “People in Stockton are paying over £100 per year more than they were in 2011 because the Labour-run council refuses to freeze our council tax. They have turned away millions in government funding and instead they are taking it from residents and out of our local economy.”

However Stockton council has complained that it has had to deal with Government cuts. The authority received £120m from the Government in 2010-11 but estimates that will be down to £53m by April 2018.

Residents in Band A properties in Stockton currently pay £1,036 a year, including the precept for police and fire brigade. That will rise by £20 in the coming year. Band A council tax payers in neighbouring Darlington currently pay £974.67 a year.

Comments (7)

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8:20pm Thu 27 Feb 14

behonest says...

"However Stockton council has complained that it has had to deal with Government cuts." Hasn't virtually every public body had to deal with cuts?

Yet this Labour council hits Stockton people with council tax increases every year (just below the legal limit, to avoid a referendum of course), when most other councils have been freezing council tax for their people.

It's a good job Stockton Labour council are well aware that local people will always vote Labour, regardless of how badly Labour let them down.
"However Stockton council has complained that it has had to deal with Government cuts." Hasn't virtually every public body had to deal with cuts? Yet this Labour council hits Stockton people with council tax increases every year (just below the legal limit, to avoid a referendum of course), when most other councils have been freezing council tax for their people. It's a good job Stockton Labour council are well aware that local people will always vote Labour, regardless of how badly Labour let them down. behonest
  • Score: 10

9:03pm Thu 27 Feb 14

ad lucem says...

James Wharton playing his usual gane of passing the buck from the Government where it belongs. If Stockton Council had accepted the Government's poisoned chalice over the past few years it would mean millions of pounds in shortfall and cuts to the front line services they have so far been able to protect and even extend. I for one am happy to pay an extra 30p a week to keep the excellent services I get from Stockton's Labour led council.
James Wharton playing his usual gane of passing the buck from the Government where it belongs. If Stockton Council had accepted the Government's poisoned chalice over the past few years it would mean millions of pounds in shortfall and cuts to the front line services they have so far been able to protect and even extend. I for one am happy to pay an extra 30p a week to keep the excellent services I get from Stockton's Labour led council. ad lucem
  • Score: -9

10:17pm Thu 27 Feb 14

behonest says...

No mention of why Stockton Labour fails to protect it's people from these tax rises, when most other councils have been able to do so.

Average (Band D) council tax is £1,565 in Stockton. 2% of that is 60p extra every week, double the example given above. And this is on top of last year's tax rise, and the year before, etc.

Labour continually treat local people as stupid, with their 'it's only 30p a week' spin. I don't think people are falling for it these days. And services are not 'excellent', they are being cut all over the place, and yet Labour continue to hammer everyone with these annual tax increases.
No mention of why Stockton Labour fails to protect it's people from these tax rises, when most other councils have been able to do so. Average (Band D) council tax is £1,565 in Stockton. 2% of that is 60p extra every week, double the example given above. And this is on top of last year's tax rise, and the year before, etc. Labour continually treat local people as stupid, with their 'it's only 30p a week' spin. I don't think people are falling for it these days. And services are not 'excellent', they are being cut all over the place, and yet Labour continue to hammer everyone with these annual tax increases. behonest
  • Score: 11

10:43pm Thu 27 Feb 14

ad lucem says...

Stockton Council always comes out very well in the independent biannual MORI survey of residents. You say services are being cut but then want to pay less council tax thus meaning more cuts to services. You can't have it all ways. Other councils have taken the bribe and like Ken Lupton the Tory Group leader has said; if you don't increase council tax then at some point you will have to raise it by 10% and more. Stockton Council is handling the HUGE Government cuts better than any other councilIcan think of. Try googling Hull and Woverhampton for starters.
Stockton Council always comes out very well in the independent biannual MORI survey of residents. You say services are being cut but then want to pay less council tax thus meaning more cuts to services. You can't have it all ways. Other councils have taken the bribe and like Ken Lupton the Tory Group leader has said; if you don't increase council tax then at some point you will have to raise it by 10% and more. Stockton Council is handling the HUGE Government cuts better than any other councilIcan think of. Try googling Hull and Woverhampton for starters. ad lucem
  • Score: -8

11:58am Fri 28 Feb 14

Grandba says...

Ad lucem are you employed by SBC by any chance?
These tax rises are neither needed nor justified. SBC are getting more revenue than ever, even charging disabled and vulnerable people 10% tax, which most genuinely cannot afford, placing more people in debt. But that's ok - It doesn't matter you don't have money for food or gas/electricity, so long as you pay your Council Tax!!
SBC have no regard for residents needs, just for getting more and more money in, of which a hell of a lot they waste on things like employing 6 staff to do the job of one and massively overheated buldings.
Services are declining rapidly. Police and fire are being cut whilst we have to pay higher precept to cover them.
Get in the real world! SBC is just plain greedy!!
Ad lucem are you employed by SBC by any chance? These tax rises are neither needed nor justified. SBC are getting more revenue than ever, even charging disabled and vulnerable people 10% tax, which most genuinely cannot afford, placing more people in debt. But that's ok - It doesn't matter you don't have money for food or gas/electricity, so long as you pay your Council Tax!! SBC have no regard for residents needs, just for getting more and more money in, of which a hell of a lot they waste on things like employing 6 staff to do the job of one and massively overheated buldings. Services are declining rapidly. Police and fire are being cut whilst we have to pay higher precept to cover them. Get in the real world! SBC is just plain greedy!! Grandba
  • Score: 6

1:36pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Grandba says...

One other thing I have just come across is that SBC are now going to charge all Registered Blue Badge holders to park in Council managed off street parks.
Another money grabbing scheme from this Council which is so kind and considerate to it's residents.
AND SBC WONDER WHY PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO COME TO STOCKTON TO SHOP!!!
One other thing I have just come across is that SBC are now going to charge all Registered Blue Badge holders to park in Council managed off street parks. Another money grabbing scheme from this Council which is so kind and considerate to it's residents. AND SBC WONDER WHY PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO COME TO STOCKTON TO SHOP!!! Grandba
  • Score: 3

2:06pm Fri 28 Feb 14

behonest says...

Stockton Band D council tax is already significantly higher than the national average. And Stockton Labour are increasing it further still!
Stockton Band D council tax is already significantly higher than the national average. And Stockton Labour are increasing it further still! behonest
  • Score: 4

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