Council tax to rise by 5 per cent in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 22 Nov 2017 at 3:05 pm

Council tax bills are likely to go up by 5 per cent from next April in Brighton and Hove if the local Labour administration’s budget proposals are approved.

The rise – 1.99 per cent plus 3 per cent for towards adult social care – is the maximum allowed under current rules.

The rise – and the sums allocated to services in next year’s £756 million budget – were set out today (Wednesday 22 November) on the day the government at Westminster also announced its budget.

Warren Morgan, the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We’re keeping job losses and redundancies to an absolute minimum despite a reduction in the number of posts.

Christmas recycling

“And we’re focusing on our key headline goals and getting the basics right.”

An estimated 80 to 90 jobs may go but many of these are vacant posts, minimising the need for redundancy payouts. Where possible staff will be redeployed when a post is made redundant rather than laid off and paid off.

Councillor Morgan said that the council would set aside a six-figure sum to deal with cases of hardship as universal credit is extended to claimants in Brighton and Hove.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £1.5 billion provision nationally to smooth the switch from multiple welfare payments to universal credit.

Locally the council is allocating £48 million towards new house building.

Labour pledged to build 500 homes by 2019. It was on course to meet it target, the council leader said, but he blamed the Conservatives and Greens for trying to frustrate the pace of progress.

Nationally the Chancellor announced extra money – £44 billion in total – and promised new measures to speed up progress in building more homes.

Councillor Morgan also said that he expected to see the first fruits soon of the joint venture with Hyde housing association. The council and Hyde are aiming to build a thousand genuinely affordable homes.

He said that he hoped to protect grants to the voluntary sector. And the budget papers indicated that an extra £6 million would be allocated for adult social care and £3 million for children’s social care.

Respite care for parents and carers is one of the areas to face a cut, with £150,000 due to be taken out of a £1.7 million annual budget.

The council has until Sunday 11 March to agree a budget for 2018-19. The first debate about spending and cuts is due to take place next week.

Members of the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee will fire the opening shots at Hove Town Hall a week tomorrow (Thursday 30 November).

The budget meeting is scheduled for Thursday 22 February.

Councillor Morgan said that the continuing reduction in government grant could push some councils to the wall – a view put forward by the Tory-dominated Local Government Association.

Fortunately, Brighton and Hove would not go under, he said, although big savings were still being made.

The budget for the coming year included cuts of more than £13 million, with management and back office costs once again being targeted as part of the package.

The council leader added: “We’re making efficiency savings. We’re innovating. We’re updating all our systems and processes.”

But the cut in government grant was supposed to be eased by the chance for councils to retain all the business rates receipts for their area.

Instead the government had kept cutting the main “revenue support grant” but had only let councils like Brighton and Hove keep half the business rates that they had collected.

This came at a cost of almost £60 million.

The council was, though, continuing to encourage growth and local job creation, Councillor Morgan said. New housing, seafront regeneration and other schemes would all help.

As always, the devil will be in the detail – and over the next three months there will be plenty of time for debate over the detail before a budget is finally set.

The budget papers can be found here. Let us know what you think is good or bad about the budget – whether it’s the big picture or the detail. Email brightonandhovenews@gmail.com.

  1. Sean fowler Reply

    The joke they call a council? Can spend ten million plus on refurbishment of the Hove town hall yet can not maintain the highways in the city!!!or any facility that they charge us under the guise of council tax?and now they even want to increase that,they want kicking out,,and the sooner the better

  2. Cllr Warren Morgan Reply

    The money to improve Hove Town Hall came from the sale of Kings House. Moving out of Kings House saves us £2m a year. Renting parts of Hove Town Hall to the police, NHS, local businesses etc brings in money we put back in to local services.

    • John Mansell Reply

      Where does all money from resident permits go. I pay 180 a year to park in road outside my home but i am already paying you lot rent council tax etc and i pay tax on the car to . Tell me that and why tell me are areas where the rich live in brighton NOT resident permit

  3. Henry Reply

    Any resolution to increase resource to speed up planning permission approval. Some dated back to 2016.

  4. John Mansell Reply

    Hang on though. Why do you keep increasing council tax resident permit parking etc when wages are not being increased. Tell me when you councillors had a wage increase or exspenses increase and i will tell you when i had a wage increase . Oh i cant because not had one for 7 years but dont forget we are all in this together as every politician regardless of party keeps saying. So will any of tge extra cash you are getting go into repairing the roads. Or maybe the maderia drive arches

  5. John Mansell Reply

    Where does all money from resident permits go. I pay 180 a year to park in road outside my home but i am already paying you lot rent council tax etc and i pay tax on the car to . Tell me that and why tell me are areas where the rich live in brighton NOT resident permit

  6. HoveLassies Reply

    STOP WASTING OUR MONEY. BHCC haemorrhages our money by paying some special private landlords over 3 times the going rate for revolting bedsit accommodation under the guise of temporary, emergency accommodation. These hostels fall far short of all acceptable prevailing accommodation standards and fail the smell test spectacularly. Spot purchased with no contracts to ensure quality and value or to protect the surrounding communities from the fallout from badly managed hostels. BHCC spends eye watering amounts of our money with these special landlords with whom has very cosy relationships knowing it is harming the wider community in so doing. It smacks of financial impropriety and negligence. The special ones all listed by month in BHCC Payments
    http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/council-and-democracy/council-finance/payments-over-%C2%A3250

  7. Pauline Willis Reply

    Can’t believe its so high again. We have been slammed with parking bay costs and now this. Brighton council are a bloody joke where do they think people get the money from.

  8. Sebastian Toombs Reply

    Like all councils this shabby bunch must be owed millions from people who haven’t paid their council tax over the years maybe just maybe they should spend time retrieving this money though I guess a lot of it has been written off

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