Heated discussion over raising of council tax

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AFTER town councils in both Buckingham and Winslow have decided not to raise their precepts this year, Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) has yet to make a decision on whether to raise council tax.

The matter was expected to be decided by AVDC cabinet on Tuesday night, but after heated discussion it was decided to give full council the chance to debate the issue, at its meeting on February 1.

The district council’s resources and corporate performance scrutiny committee had recommended it turn down a government grant which would enable it to keep council tax down for the coming financial year, and instead raise council taxes by 2.5 per cent.

The Council Tax Freeze Grant is an incentive offered by central government. Councils that freeze or reduce their council tax for the coming year will get a one-off grant equivalent to raising council tax by 2.5 per cent.

The setting of council tax will be debated at AVDC’s full council meeting at the Oculus building in Aylesbury from 6.30pm on February 1.

Residents wishing to have a say can contact their local district councillor and request that they ask a question on their behalf.

Alternatively, residents can arrange in advance to read out a statement before the budget debate. Written statements need to be submitted to the head of democratic services by midday on January 31 and residents will then have two and a half minutes to speak.