Government cuts council’s funding

The government has said it will slash the funding it gives 
Daventry District Council by 13.8 per cent.

The cut, for the financial year starting in April, is far greater than the national average announced before Christmas of 2.9 per cent. April 2013 saw DDC’s government grant cut by 7.4 per cent.

To combat the cuts in its funding, DDC has already said it will be forced to put up its share of the council tax by two per cent in April as it cannot afford to take up the Government’s council tax freeze offer.

Council leader Chris Millar said: “We reported to full council in December that we were expecting a reduction in funding of around 13.8 per cent and the provisional settlement figure we have received for this authority is in line with this.

“We were not expecting any great surprises from this announcement – our council has always taken a planned and prudent approach to its financial challenges and in anticipation of these further funding cuts we have already made provision within our medium term financial plan to accommodate a reduced level of grant funding.”

The two per cent increase in DDC’s precept equates to £2.46 on the average annual Band D council tax – around 5p a week.

DDC officers have said they foresee the government grant being cut by 80 per cent by 2020, requiring the council to become self-sufficient in terms of council tax and business rates.

To overcome the £500,000 loss predicted in 2020, a 14 per cent increase in council tax will be needed by then – just over two per cent every year.

DDC’s Band D annual charge is £135.72, compared to £166.57 for the national average.