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Guildford Council Tax Increase ‘Good Value for Money’ Says Deputy Leader

Published on: 9 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 9 Feb, 2023

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

Guildford residents will pay more money in council tax from April with a senior councillor saying the borough represented “good value for money”.

The council agreed its budget for 2023/24, including an additional £5.59 on the average house going toward the borough council.

Guildford Borough Council met on Wednesday (February 8) to vote on the budget, which will see it take in £11.4 million in council tax to fund services.

The bill for a band D property in the borough, in areas without a parish council, will stand at £2,178.06, but only £192.41 of that will go to the borough council.

It follows Surrey County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner confirming increases to their share of council tax of nearly £50 per year and £15 per year respectively.

The rate varies across the borough, with parish councils also adding on a share, with the most expensive being in Normandy where residents in a band D property will pay £2,291.71.

In the parish area with the lowest council tax, residents in a band D home in Wanborough will pay £2,208.41.

The 2.99 per cent increase on council tax is the maximum that borough councils can go to, with authorities such as the county council able to raise by a further 2 per cent to help fund adult social care.

Cllr Joss Bigmore

The borough council’s deputy leader, Cllr Joss Bigmore (Residents for Guildford and Villages, Christchurch), said the borough council kept nine per cent of the money it collected in council tax, on average a little over £250 on a band D property.

He told the meeting: “For that, an average resident receives nearly £500 worth of service.

“Historically and today we remain a council that delivers very good value for money for every pound of council tax we receive.”

Cllr Bigmore, also the lead councillor for finance and planning policy, said that with £32million in reserves, the council would no be putting aside the usual £2.5m which departments then tended to spend throughout the year, saying they should budget with “sufficient discipline” not to need them.

Cllr Nigel Manning

Cllr Nigel Manning (Con, Ash Vale) raised the recent cuts to services that saw public toilet closures, cutting of grants to Citizens’ Advice and the closure of the Shawfield day centre.

He said the budget was a result of the council administration’s priorities and not those of residents, who had responded to council consultations calling for services for the elderly and vulnerable to be protected.

But the council’s leader, Cllr Julia McShane (Lib Dem, Westborough) responded saying changing to day centre services had been “a very positive thing” for people across the borough using them at The Hive.

Cllr Julia McShane

She said the council had dealt with the consolidation of the services in a “careful and sensitive way”.

Cllr McShane added: “I’m proud that we actually went through a very difficult process and I think came out the other side of it with a really good service at The Hive.”

The council is currently run as a Lib Dem and R4GV coalition, with each party having had a leader in place for two years of the four-year term of the council.

In May, all councillors will be up for election.

See below a breakdown of the total amount to be paid by all council tax bands, in areas without a parish council, including in brackets the amount that goes to Guildford Borough Council.

  • Band A – £1,452.04 (128.27)
  • Band B – £1,694.04 (149.65)
  • Band C – £1,936.05 (171.03 )
  • Band D – £2,178.06 (192.41)
  • Band E – £2,662.07 (235.16)
  • Band F – £3,146.08 (277.92)
  • Band G – £3,630.10 (320.68)
  • Band H – £4,356.11 (384.81)

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Responses to Guildford Council Tax Increase ‘Good Value for Money’ Says Deputy Leader

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    February 9, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    Time someone (a qualified accountant) did an foi on all council finances to see if the above statement holds waterproof

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