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Council tax set to rise

WALLETS might be a bit lighter from April as three councils and the police all plan to hike their share of council tax.

Stratford District Council is currently consulting on its draft budget, which proposes the maximum permitted £5 rise for Band D properties.

Warwickshire County Council is looking at a two per cent rise in its share.

Warwickshire’s police and crime commissioner Philip Seccombe outlined his spending plans last week for the forthcoming financial year, which include the recruitment of 41 more officers, additional special constables and the opening of a new force control room. However, all this would come at a price, with the police precept rising 6.3 per cent – or £1.25 more per month for a Band D property.

And Stratford Town Council is looking to increase its precept by 2.5 per cent, which works out at around 97p per household per year.

The overall council tax figure, taking in all these rises, is likely to be settled next month when a final decision is made by each organisation.

Mr Seccombe said: “With the addition of the challenges and unexpected costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, setting this year’s budget has probably been the hardest task of my five years in office.

“I fully understand the financial pressures that all households are under, with coronavirus only adding further financial worry and uncertainty. Public sector finances face similar challenges now and into the future, so I must weigh up all these competing concerns before coming to a conclusion.”

However, Ben Twomey, Labour candidate for the police and crime commissioner elections in May, criticised Mr Seccombe’s spending plans.

He said: “People in Warwickshire are tired of paying more and getting less. For the fourth year in a row, the police commissioner is putting up local taxes.

“Conservative cuts have left Warwickshire Police £20m short since 2010.”

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