Last Thursday night Ashford Borough Council’s cabinet members considered new options put to them by central government about the level at which council tax can be set for the financial year 2016-17.
Ashford’s element of council tax is the lowest in Kent. Indeed, as it sets one of the lowest precepts in the country, Ashford has been given special dispensation by central government to raise its element of council tax by up to £5 a year for the forthcoming financial year, without triggering a referendum.
The news that the borough council was to have this option came last Monday afternoon, when the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP, addressed the House of Commons. He stated that this option was open to “the most economical authorities” which includes Ashford Borough Council.
However, cabinet members took the view that it would not recommend raising council tax by the full £5 but by £4.55 per year. If full council approves this approach on 18th February it means that the average charge for a band D property for the 2016-17 financial year in Ashford will be exactly £150. The average district council tax for Kent is set to be £190.35 for 2016-17. (more…)