Residents in Warwick district will receive a revised Council Tax bill this month following the cancellation of the planned Council Tax referendum due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In February this year, Councillors unanimously approved a Council Tax increase of £57 for the year (based on a band D property) a move which made it a constitutional requirement to call a referendum. The increase comprised £52 for a ring-fenced ‘climate action fund’ plus a £5 per annum rise (Band D property) for the Council’s other core services (which include housing, refuse & recycling, street cleaning, parks and open spaces).
Despite the fact that referendum wasn’t due to take place until 7 May and was subsequently postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a legal ‘quirk’ from central government meant that all Council Tax demands issued by the Council in March 2020 had to include the ‘climate action fund’ increment.
Now following confirmation that the referendum will be deferred, the Council has reset its charges to a moderate 3% rise, meaning that for the financial year starting in April 2020 a band D household will pay Warwick District Council £171.86 a year in Council Tax (compared to £166.86 in 2019/20). The remainder of the Council Tax bill is paid to Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police, and the local town or parish councils. All bills have now been revised and will be reissued in the next few days, by post or online.
Councillor Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council, said:
“Never before has the funding we receive through Council Tax been so important, enabling us to provide support to the vulnerable and local businesses whilst continuing essential front-line services during this national crisis. Although our response to the coronavirus pandemic remains our top priority, the Climate Emergency is still with us and the lessons learned and behaviour changes made during this time will be very much in our thinking as we move our district towards a brighter, cleaner and healthier future.”