Warwick District Council gives green light to council tax referendum

2 Mar 20
Residents are to be given the chance to vote on a proposed 34.2% rise in Warwick District Council’s share of council tax.
If approved, the increase would amount to an increase of £57 per year per household for a Band D property to £223, £52 of this increase will put into a £3m annual ‘ring-fenced’ Climate Action Fund with the remaining £5 going towards the Council’s other services.

Spending plans for the extra income include reducing congestion, improving air quality, enhancing biodiversity and building more energy efficient homes and public buildings.

A cross-party statement said: “Councillors believe that the fairest way to raise the money locally is through our council tax.

“We will therefore be considering at the council meeting on 26 February, asking residents for an increase of £1 per week (for a Band D property) at a referendum to be held on 7 May (this is in addition to the £5 increase to cover existing services); this would put £3m per year into a ‘ring-fenced’ Climate Action Fund.”

The costs to the council will include the cost of the referendum is estimated at £300,000, with the cost of re-billing in a no-vote estimated to be in the region of £200,000.

The increase will be introduced this April, but if rejected by residents at the subsequent referendum households would get the cash back.

One referendum has taken place in the past, when Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Olly Martins, proposed a 15.8% increase in council tax for 2015-16. The poll was held on 7 May 2015 with 91,086 voters (30.5%) supporting the proposal, compared to 207,551 (69.5%) opposing it.

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