Westmorland and Furness Council is currently consulting the public on council tax levels for 2023/2024. The consultation comes as the council prepares to set its first budget ahead of vesting day on 1 April this year.
The council is asking for feedback on three key proposals:
- a 4.99% rise in council tax for 2023/2024, made up of a 2.99% basic increase plus another 2% specifically to help fund adult social care;
- harmonising council tax rates across the Westmorland and Furness area. Currently council tax levels vary between district council areas. Harmonisation will set a consistent council tax rate across the whole Westmorland and Furness area; and
- introducing a 100% council tax increase on the area’s 5,440 second homes, doubling the council tax they would pay from April 2024.
Details of the consultation and how to respond can be found at https://www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk/have-your-say/have-your-say-in-council-tax-consultation/ and you have until 13 February to respond.
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Cabinet Member for Finance, said:
“These proposals have been carefully thought through and are not being made lightly. Our projections are that the cost of providing essential services will increase by £20 million in 2023/2024. The funding we receive directly from Government won’t cover that, so we have to look to the local flexibility around council tax levels to generate increases in the council’s income. The money raised this way will directly pay for essential local services like waste, highways, parks and leisure and social care, as well as allowing us to make progress in the priority areas we have identified in our Council Plan.”