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Council Tax – GBC Invite You To Have Your Say

Published on: 25 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 27 Sep, 2012

More Guildford residents are likely to pay Council Tax and some, who already pay, will pay more, according to a Guildford Borough Councillor. But the views of local people are being sought on the proposed changes to Council Tax Benefit through a new online survey.

As part of the government’s welfare reforms, the current system for Council Tax Benefit will be abolished from April 2013. All local councils will have to replace this with their own scheme called Council Tax Support.

At the same time, the government will reduce the money that local councils can use to fund their new support schemes by 10%. This means that Guildford Borough Council will have about £700,000 less to spend each year.

Apart from pensioners, who are exempt from the changes, every working age person currently entitled to Council Tax Benefit is potentially affected, approximately 4,000 people in Guildford Borough.

Cllr Nigel Manning

Cllr Nigel Manning, (Con, Ash Vale) Lead Councillor for Finance and Assets, explains: “We want to protect as many people as possible from any reduction in their benefit, but some may have to pay part of their bill for the first time; others may have to pay more than they do now.

“We want to design a new support scheme that is fair, simple and cost effective. We also want a scheme that protects the most vulnerable members of our community and cushions the impact of the changes.”

GBC’s draft Council Tax Support Scheme proposes to fund some of this shortfall with £458,000 of increased empty properties income and £242,000 of Council Tax Benefit savings.

A GBC spokesperson said: “We encourage everyone, even if they don’t currently receive Council Tax Benefit, to give their views on our proposals through an online survey at

The survey is managed by an external agent and all responses are confidential. Printed copies are available from our Benefits Team on 01483 444884.

A final decision on the scheme will be made by the Council at its meeting on 13 December 2012.

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