Council tax in Worcestershire is the ninth lowest in the country

Council tax in Worcestershire is the ninth lowest in the country

Council tax in Worcestershire is the ninth lowest in the country

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

IF you've ever seen the council tax bill dropping through the door and breathed a sigh of anguish, it could be worse.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the rates for living in Worcestershire are the ninth LOWEST in the entire country.

For the first time ever newly released data from the Government allows taxpayers to compare each part of the UK in terms of what they have to pay.

Across Worcestershire the average band D bill from the county council stands at £1,059 for the current financial year.

But despite going up nearly two per cent in April, four years of previous freezes means it now trails behind most of the country, with some similar counties charging householders nearly £700 more per year.

The most expensive in the country is Weymouth, where the average bill is £1,726 per year, while Rutland comes in second at £1,704.

East Dorset, which is considered very similar to Worcestershire, is the fourth most expensive at £1,687 while Nottinghamshire, which has more deprivation than this county, is 10th highest at £1,675.

The rates do not include small add-ons by district councils or other bodies like police and fire services, which typically make up around 20 per cent of the total bill.

The information has been published by the Government in a bid highlight town halls who charge sky-high rates without householders knowing.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader, said: "I was convinced we'd be in the bottom third but didn't know it would be this low.

"I'd have thought areas like East Dorset would be pretty similar to us, so that is a surprise.

"We took the view that during the height of the recession it was certainly the right thing to do, to keep on freezing it and this shows how much of a difference it has made."

The Conservative leadership has not ruled out increasing rates again next year, saying it has yet to make its mind up either way.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the deputy leader, said: "It's good to see the efforts to keep it down are now being recognised on a national basis.

"What is genuinely surprising to me is to see how expensive some areas are compared to us - unless you're a resident who moves around a lot most people wouldn't be in a position to see the differences."

Comments (9)

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11:04am Tue 5 Aug 14

3thinker says...

I know we complain a lot about the City and County Councils. And certainly incidents like the Alan Amos affair don't help, but on balance we do have some decent councillors and in all the parties. Personally I'm not surprised about how low the Council Tax here is compared to other areas. That said even more could be saved and services would be more efficient if the Districts and County merged to become one or two Unitary authorities. IT would then be easier to make the cuts without affecting service delivery and especially if the Council Tax went up a little each year.
I know we complain a lot about the City and County Councils. And certainly incidents like the Alan Amos affair don't help, but on balance we do have some decent councillors and in all the parties. Personally I'm not surprised about how low the Council Tax here is compared to other areas. That said even more could be saved and services would be more efficient if the Districts and County merged to become one or two Unitary authorities. IT would then be easier to make the cuts without affecting service delivery and especially if the Council Tax went up a little each year. 3thinker
  • Score: 7

12:40pm Tue 5 Aug 14

saucerer says...

Council tax may be the 9th lowest, but are we getting value for money and more and better quality services for per pound? No, is the answer. It's how you use the money that's important.
Council tax may be the 9th lowest, but are we getting value for money and more and better quality services for per pound? No, is the answer. It's how you use the money that's important. saucerer
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Rita Jelfs says...

If the current services that have been put out to private companies to provide, work out cheaper than done 'in-house' then value for money might be achieved. But some services are not now provided, or reduced. So couldn't that reflect the lack of services being provided, or provided on a voluntary basis? Does the cost also factor in the staff now sacked? How can people be sure that Worcestershire is the 9th cheapest unless they're comparing APPLES WITH APPLES? But its a good headline
If the current services that have been put out to private companies to provide, work out cheaper than done 'in-house' then value for money might be achieved. But some services are not now provided, or reduced. So couldn't that reflect the lack of services being provided, or provided on a voluntary basis? Does the cost also factor in the staff now sacked? How can people be sure that Worcestershire is the 9th cheapest unless they're comparing APPLES WITH APPLES? But its a good headline Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 3

9:51pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Jabbadad says...

Nice comment Rita.
Nice comment Rita. Jabbadad
  • Score: 2

10:26am Wed 6 Aug 14

green49 says...

Wait and see if the Council tax goes up soon? whos paying for the new car park at County hall?? it wont do much good either 200 spaces when as well as the defra lot moving there its rumoured the tax office will be going there too?
I agree with saucerer the service cuts will be of poor service and less for the money, FACT that is ive seen it already but the Councillors and heads of Council know it but ignore what anyone has to say.
Wait and see if the Council tax goes up soon? whos paying for the new car park at County hall?? it wont do much good either 200 spaces when as well as the defra lot moving there its rumoured the tax office will be going there too? I agree with saucerer the service cuts will be of poor service and less for the money, FACT that is ive seen it already but the Councillors and heads of Council know it but ignore what anyone has to say. green49
  • Score: 2

6:33pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Christine Melsom says...

I hate to disappoint you good people of Worcestershire, but your council tax rates among one of the highest council taxes. In addition to the £1,059 there are several other precepts - district, parish or town, police and fire. Someone living in a band D in say Evesham would pay £1441.00.
I hate to disappoint you good people of Worcestershire, but your council tax rates among one of the highest council taxes. In addition to the £1,059 there are several other precepts - district, parish or town, police and fire. Someone living in a band D in say Evesham would pay £1441.00. Christine Melsom
  • Score: 1

6:49pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Christine Melsom says...

The fact that Hartlepool’s band D council tax is £1,691 is hardly relevant in this context because 86% of dwellings in that area are in bands A, B and C (56% of them in band A). This means that the average council tax per dwelling, according to the official figures, is £885. Hardly one of the most expensive then.
The same could be said for Nottingham. In that area over 90% of dwellings are in bands A, B and C (64% in band A), and the average council tax per dwelling is about £827. Again, hardly one of the most expensive then.
It would appear that this same principle can be applied to both Newark & Sherwood and Redcar & Cleveland, where the average council tax per dwelling is £1,196 and £981 respectively, considerably lower than these councils’ average band D.
But now look at Hampshire. 52% of dwellings are in bands A, B and C (a mere 7.2% in Band A). The average council tax per dwelling across the county’s eleven Districts is about £1,238.
As a resident of Hampshire (East Hampshire to be more precise) I was none too pleased to have been identified as one of the lucky ones who live in a “least expensive” area. The band D council tax in this District is £1,456, and the average per dwelling around £1,401.
The fact that Hartlepool’s band D council tax is £1,691 is hardly relevant in this context because 86% of dwellings in that area are in bands A, B and C (56% of them in band A). This means that the average council tax per dwelling, according to the official figures, is £885. Hardly one of the most expensive then. The same could be said for Nottingham. In that area over 90% of dwellings are in bands A, B and C (64% in band A), and the average council tax per dwelling is about £827. Again, hardly one of the most expensive then. It would appear that this same principle can be applied to both Newark & Sherwood and Redcar & Cleveland, where the average council tax per dwelling is £1,196 and £981 respectively, considerably lower than these councils’ average band D. But now look at Hampshire. 52% of dwellings are in bands A, B and C (a mere 7.2% in Band A). The average council tax per dwelling across the county’s eleven Districts is about £1,238. As a resident of Hampshire (East Hampshire to be more precise) I was none too pleased to have been identified as one of the lucky ones who live in a “least expensive” area. The band D council tax in this District is £1,456, and the average per dwelling around £1,401. Christine Melsom
  • Score: 0

11:47pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Jabbadad says...

well I hope we are not seeing the CONservatives trying to make political gain over this issue and being proven slightly wrong.
Who would have thought that about our Simon?
well I hope we are not seeing the CONservatives trying to make political gain over this issue and being proven slightly wrong. Who would have thought that about our Simon? Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

8:18pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Christine Melsom says...

The councils with the lowest council tax are mainly in the Labour Heartlands. Not because the councils are more efficient, but because the government grant is much higher. So no it is not a Conservative plot. The last government was very tight with grants for those councils who did not support them.
The councils with the lowest council tax are mainly in the Labour Heartlands. Not because the councils are more efficient, but because the government grant is much higher. So no it is not a Conservative plot. The last government was very tight with grants for those councils who did not support them. Christine Melsom
  • Score: 0

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