Your town or village could be poorer from April.
Central Beds Council has announced that it will not be sharing the government allocated Council Tax Support Grant (CTS Grant) with town and parish councils this year.
At the start of the current 2013/14 financial year the government reduced the council tax base, meaning that fewer people are paying council tax.
Councils then had to put up their taxes to collect the same amount of money as the previous year. But the CTS Grant gave town and parish councils a helping hand.
This financial year town and parish councils across Central Bedfordshire received a total of £801,000. A breakdown for each council was not available.
The grant is 7.7 per cent lower for 2014/15 than in the present year, so Central Beds Council has said it will not be sharing it.
In a letter to the local councils, Councillor Maurice Jones, deputy leader of Central Beds Council, pointed out that the June Spending Review cut Central Beds Council’s funding by another one per cent.
He wrote: “In view of this and the continuing considerable pressures we face to fund the increasing demands for children’s services and adult social care, at this point we do not anticipate being in a position to allocate any CTS Grant to either town or parish councils.”
Central Beds Council particularly needs the money because it has frozen its portion of the council tax bill for the last three years.
Although Central Beds Council has a commitment to not increase its part of the council tax, the town and parish councils may decide they need to ask for an increase without the help of the CTS Grant – potentially leading to an overall increase for the taxpayer anyway.
Councillor Jones added: “We need to consider the rationale for every payment that we make.
“In this context I trust that you will understand why it is neither feasible nor realistic for us to make grant payments from budgets that have been subject to significant cuts from central government and for which there is no statutory requirement for us to do so.”