Cabinet approves council tax and rent increases ahead of full council vote

Doncaster Council’s cabinet has given the go-ahead on increases in tax and social housing rent ahead of a vote of full council later this month.
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The rises form part of the council’s annual budget for 2024/5, which was proposed to cabinet on Wednesday (7 February).

Council tax will rise by 4.99 per cent under the plans, in line with several other local authorities across the country.

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For the average band D property, council tax will increase by £78.41, to a total of £1,649.73 per year.

Doncaster Council Civic Office.Doncaster Council Civic Office.
Doncaster Council Civic Office.

The increase will generate an additional £7.3m for the council, a figure officials say is “necessary to meet budgetary pressures.”

Proposing the increase, Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “Across the country we are seeing councils of all political control strugglingdue to lack of government funding, rising service delivery costs andincreasing demand.

“Doncaster will still continue to have the lowest council tax in SouthYorkshire and one of the lowest overall in comparison to other councils ofsimilar size in the country.

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“Doncaster is an incredibly well managed council, which is why we are still able to deliver the services we do, for one of the lowest council tax rates in the country.”

Several local authorities are set to trigger local referendums for the first time after proposing an increase higher than the recommended 4.99 per cent.

Cabinet members also improved a 7.7 per cent increase in social housing rent.

An average weekly rent will rise by £6.30 a week under the plans, increasing to £88.16 per week from £81.86.

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73 percent of St Leger Homes tenants will not have to pay any additional costs due to coverage from Universal Credit and Housing Benefit.

Funding generated from 1 percent of the increase will be used to acquire around 26 new council properties.

Councillor Joe Blackham commended the provision for additional housing in the budget, saying: “Even during these difficult times we are continuing to acquire housing that will be used for social housing, it’s a brilliant thing that we’re doing.”

A further 1.2 per cent will be used to respond to damp, mould and condensation.

All budgets including a proposed £193m in investment schemes will be voted on by full council on Monday, 26 February.