Council Tax rise of 2.39% recommended

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News release: 26 November 2018

The building of more than 80 affordable homes are among ten priority projects recommended to St Albans City and District Council.

Alec Campbell
Progressing the Local Plan that identifies land for future development and creating an enterprise zone for the thriving enviro-tech industry are among the other schemes.

The Council’s Cabinet, its decision-making executive, put forward the programme for 2019/20 at its meeting on Thursday 22 November.

They form part of a Corporate Plan and Budget for the five years from 2019 to 2024 that will now go before a meeting of the Full Council next month for approval.

Among the other recommendations was an average 2.39% rise in the District Council’s element of Council Tax for the next financial year which begins on April 1.

This is in line with the inflation rate for the year to October 2018 of 2.4%. * 

The priority projects are:

Housing – redeveloping Wavell House into 24 flats for the over-55s and Betty Entwistle House into 40 flats for people with care needs; creating more than 80 affordable or social rent homes in three Council-owned sites; continuing a programme to improve energy efficiency at Council-owned houses and flats.

Local Plan – submitting the Local Plan that identifies land for future housing, commercial and infrastructure development.

City Centre Opportunity Site – moving ahead with plans to redevelop the southern section by building a mix of affordable, private and shared ownership homes along with commercial space and car parking.

Harpenden Leisure and Cultural Centre – progressing this £18.8 million development with the new sports centre due to open in 2020 and the cultural hub in 2021, subject to planning permission.

Enterprise Zone – delivering in partnership with other organisations the new zone for enviro-tech industries with the potential to provide up to 12,000 new jobs by 2042.

Customer Services – upgrading the Council’s website, extending the services available on the MyStAlbans digital account and undertaking reviews of key areas to seek improvements.

Car Parking – bringing management of car parks and parking enforcement back under Council control to improve the service and retain all the income generated.

The Cabinet has also recommended to Full Council a budget for 2019-23. In order to balance it, savings and income gains of £1.8 million have been identified.

Councillor Alec Campbell, the Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “Over the last year, we have delivered on our promise of completing a number of major projects.

“These include opening the outstanding new St Albans Museum and Gallery and achieving a 60%-plus recycling rate.

“Our Corporate Plan and Budget sets out how we intend to put our residents, businesses, visitors, voluntary groups and other customers at the centre of what we do over the next five years.

“We have recommended ten priority projects for the next financial year including completing our Local Plan, progressing a new leisure centre in Harpenden and building more affordable homes and commercial office space.

“This is an ambitious, challenging programme and shows we are striving to improve the District’s infrastructure and quality of the services we provide. 

“Our Corporate Plan is also in keeping with the overarching objectives we have set ourselves of maintaining the District as a great place to live and work with a thriving community and vibrant economy.

“We are also committed to ensuring the Council is resilient, efficient and provides value for money. We are increasing funding in repairs and maintenance whilst keeping the proposed Council Tax increase to the inflation rate.”

The recommended average rise of the District Council’s Council Tax precept for next year is 2.39%. For residents living in the City Neighbourhoods Committee** area, the increase is 2.51% and for those outside, it is 2.25%.

As the Council’s precept is below 3%, there is no legal requirement for a referendum of Council Tax payers to endorse it.

The Council’s precept makes up around 11% of residents’ total Council tax bill. There are also precepts from Hertfordshire County Council, the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Town and Parish Councils.

The overall Council Tax bill will be settled in February next year when all the precepts are known.

Picture: Cllr Alec Campbell.

Councillor contact:
Cllr Alec Campbell, Leader of St Albans City and District Council.
Tel: 07793 550200; email: cllr.a.campbell@stalbans.gov.uk

Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City & District Council. 
Tel: 01727 296130; email: john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk


** In the unparished part of St Albans, the Council’s City Neighbourhoods Committee (CNC) manages a number of community assets including Clarence Park and other green spaces. The CNC may charge a Special Expense to be included in the District Council’s Council Tax precept for their area. The CNC proposed an increase for next year of 3.66%. 
St Albans City and District Council collects Council Tax on behalf of itself, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Town and Parish Councils in the District.
The overall charge for each band varies from area to area.  This is because the charges made by the CNC and Town and Parish Councils may differ.