Laura Sharman 07 February 2017

Surrey scraps plan for 15% council tax increase

Surrey Council County has announced it is abandoning proposals to increase council tax by 15% and has instead budgeted for a 4.99% rise.

Council leader David Hodge has recommended the authority implements the 4.99% increase, the maximum level without the need to hold a referendum.

Mr Hodge said the decision was made following intensive conversations with the Government.

'The Government has listened and we believe the Government now understands,' he said. 'We are therefore willing to take a risk that a solution will soon be found to the issues that all councils face.

'However if there isn't any progress in finding a solution to the adult social care crisis, our situation will become untenable.

'Given this, I believe that this year we do not need to ask residents to pay council tax above 4.99%.'

Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said: ‘The situation for all county authorities, such as Surrey, is made worse by the historic underfunding of rural areas and higher demand for care services, forcing residents to pay higher council tax for fewer services compared to urban areas.

‘To help county authorities, Government must now deliver new funding for social care in the March Budget. Alongside this, it must bring forward its review council funding to provide genuinely fair resources for Shire Counties.’

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