Council sets 2018/19 budget; allocates funding for play areas and announces sponsorship for World Rugby Hall of Fame
RUGBY Borough Council’s share of the council tax is to rise by £5 for the year for an average Band D property after councillors approved the 2018/19 budget.
This is less than the maximum 3 per cent increase permitted by the government.
The increase to £139.36 for the year will allow the borough council to maintain all of its services during the coming financial year, despite further drops in government funding. Rugby Borough Council keeps around eight pence in every pound of council tax collected with the rest going to the police, town or parish area and to Warwickshire County Council.
Also announced at a meeting of the council held on Tuesday (27 February) was a landmark deal with a major global brand that will see £600,000 invested back into the borough economy via sponsorship of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
Separately, the council committed to continue to allocate £150,000 collected from business rates on out of town retail parks to support the town centre economy. There will be an increase of £240,000 to provide accommodation for residents who are temporarily homeless, with this spending paid for by income from Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.
£180,000 will be allocated to refurbish Rokeby play area, £150,000 will be used to make safety upgrades to other play areas and open spaces, and £130,000 will be allocated to improve street furniture such as benches and litter bins to make them more disability-friendly.
Cllr Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “With our central government grant reducing year-on-year I am pleased that we have once again been able to protect all of our services by reducing our costs and finding alternative sources of funding. Our trading activity for example, both with other public authorities and with the private sector, is an increasingly important income stream that allows us to keep costs down for tax payers.
“No-one welcomes a tax rise, but I hope that residents will agree that by providing its services for less than eight pence for every pound of council tax collected, Rugby Borough Council offers exceptional value for money.”
Commenting on the new sponsorship deal for the World Rugby Hall of Fame, Cllr Stokes added: “As Rugbeians we are all proud of our past, and particularly with our special role as the birthplace of the game of Rugby.
“Our unique partnership with World Rugby has led to the town having a world class visitor attraction for the very first time and, following key meetings at the Rugby World Cup 2019 draw in Kyoto in May, we now have the backing of a world class brand.
“By working together and with our partners we can make the most of this valuable asset for the benefit of our town centre, our residents and businesses.”
The amount of council tax for a typical Band D property in 2018/19 will be:
Warwickshire County Council: £1363.68
Warwickshire Police: £203.98
Town area (or Parish Council): £73.01
Rugby Borough Council: £139.36
Council tax bills will be sent to all taxpayers during week beginning 5 March 2018.