SIGN OUR PETITION BELOW AGAINST ANOTHER COUNCIL TAX INCREASE!
Labour-run Gateshead Council charges the highest level of Council Tax of any urban council in England.
For people in Band D this means paying £1754 a year, £110 more than people in Newcastle and a whopping £383 more than people in Manchester!
Gateshead Liberal Democrats believe residents deserve a break from endless Council Tax rises. Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader Jonathan Wallace says: “People are really struggling in Gateshead and annual Council Tax rises make things harder and harder".
The proposed 3.99% Council Tax rise would raise nearly £3.6 million next year when Gateshead Council is already sitting on reserves of £39 million!
Councillor Wallace says “The Government states that Gateshead Council needs at least £6 million in reserve to be at a prudent level – it has £33 million more than that and it is planning maximum Council Tax increases every year until 2024. That’s simply not right.”
Gateshead Lib Dems issue a clear message to our Labour-run Council:
“As the official Opposition on Gateshead Council, the Liberal Democrats will vote against any Labour budget that increases Council Tax.”
- Gateshead has £39 million of usable reserves (Medium Term Financial Strategy p20.) So healthy are the reserves that it moved £4 million from General to Earmarked reserves last year
- Each 1% increase in Council Tax generates £ 900,000. A 3% increase in Council Tax (last year’s increase) brought in £2.7 million – that’s £1.3 million less than was moved to earmarked reserves from the General Fund. They are using Council tax to hoard money.
- If the Council followed the Government’s recommended level of safe reserves (3% of revenue expenditure), reserves would be at £6 million. In other words, the Council has £33 million more in reserve than the Government thinks it needs.
- Gateshead has the highest level of Council Tax of any Metropolitan Borough in England. This is how it compares across Tyne and Wear and with selected local authorities at the national average Band D:
Tyne and Wear Band D Council Tax rates for 2019-20
Some other Metropolitan Boroughs:
Source https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/council-tax-levels-set-by-local-authorities-in-england-2019-to-2020 (Council Tax Levels set by Local Authorities in England 2019-2020 (Revised))
We, the undersigned residents, note that Gateshead Council has usable reserves of approximately £39 million and charges the highest Council Tax rates of any Metropolitan Authority.
We call upon Gateshead Council not to increase Council Tax this year.