Cabinet signals Council Tax freeze for fifth year

The Cabinet of West Oxfordshire District Council is recommending that Full Council agrees to freeze Council Tax for the fifth year running when it sets the budget next month.

If agreed by Full Council at the budget meeting on 25 February, the freeze would keep the District’s share of Council Tax at just £81.63 for a Band D property, less than half the current national average.

This represents a real terms cut in the level of 17.5% over the five years when taking account of retail price inflation and equates to just £1.50 per week per, per household, for all services provided by the Council.

West Oxfordshire District Council already has the second lowest Council Tax of all shire district councils in England and lowest of all five district councils in Oxfordshire, and the Council would be likely to retain this position if the freeze is approved.

Cllr Simon Hoare, Cabinet Member for Resources, who put forward the recommendation at a Cabinet meeting today (14 January), said: “We have a commitment to keeping Council Tax low and the recommendation will be to freeze levels for 2015-16. It will be the fifth consecutive year that we will have done this whilst continuing to protect services and this is no mean feat, especially at a time of ongoing significant reductions in local authority funding.

“Our successful efficiency savings programme and shared working has put us in a steady position and local taxpayers will be pleased to know that we are on target to deliver a budget that is not only low-taxing, but is balanced, efficient and safeguards all the high-quality services for which West Oxfordshire is renowned.”

Budget commitments will include the continuation of free parking 24-hours-a-day, seven days per week, in all Council-owned car parks across West Oxfordshire, support for the voluntary sector and local communities, and ongoing free garden waste collections for households.

There will also be further progress on a major scheme to secure 100% superfast broadband coverage for the District.

Further information about Council Tax is available on the Council’s website www.westoxon.gov.uk