Dartford Borough Council has made a significant announcement on proposals for next year’s Council Tax against a backdrop of fears that local authorities across the country will take the opportunity to raise charges next year.
Council Leader Jeremy Kite has confirmed that Dartford Borough Council has no plans to take advantage of new rules allowing local authorities to raise council tax by up to 5% and expects to be one of a small number of councils to freeze council tax for a further year.
Councillor Kite explained “We cannot control what other public bodies do but we have never been interested in following the herd or putting up local tax because those around us are doing so. The Government’s decision to raise the cap on what council’s may impose is largely irrelevant to the DBC component of the bill because we try to keep it as low as possible anyway. We were one of the few councils to freeze our tax last year and we propose to do so again in 2023. We plan no cuts to services so popular policies like weekly bin collections, our full programme of events and the delivery of successful new facilities for local families will continue.”
The council is taking a similar stance on the rents payable on thousands of council homes. Cabinet Member for Housing Councillor David Mote said “There is a general feeling that council rents across the country may rise sharply next year but Dartford will be bucking the trend. It is our proposal to freeze rents for the council’s tenants which obviously has benefits for them not just this year but going forward too.”
The Council’s proposals will go out for public consultation with a final decision due to be taken in February.