Cheshire East looks to increase income from Council Tax by 7%

Having attended a budget briefing on Monday 11th December, Councillor Craig Browne reported on the latest news regarding Council Tax.

He said "One of the issues that Cheshire East Council has is that in 2014 Council Tax receipts funded about half of the costs of the services that they provided, by 2020 their target is to get that to fund two thirds of the services they provide.

"There are two main reasons for this, the first one is a reduction in the Revenue Support Grant, which is money that local authorities get back from central government, which in the current year has been approximately £30m. Next year it will be only £15.6m and then £10.4m the year after so we are looking at almost exactly a £20m reduction over the next two years from central government."

"The other reason, as many people don't necessarily realise, is that business rates - which are collected by local authorities - the receipts are not exclusively retained by them.

"In Cheshire East's case they only get to keep 30% of the money it collects from business rates. This is calculated by central government and there is formula that takes into account things like deprivation indices, population densities etc which means that whilst Cheshire East only keeps 30% of the business rates it receives Liverpool by contrast receives 130% of the business rates it receives - so this is quite a challenge for Cheshire East going forward."

He continued "So they are looking to increase the amount they raise through Council Tax next year by 7%, that doesn't mean that Council Tax bills are going up by 7%. Council Tax bills are going up by 4.99% but Cheshire East have calculated that they can raise the amount of Council Tax they collect reliant upon them building an additional 1800 homes - because obviously the occupant of those homes are then paying Council Tax and that's Council Tax which is not being paid at the moment."

He added "They are projecting forwards to a 3% increase in Council Tax in 2019/20 and the same again in 2020/21."

Cheshire East Council, Council Tax


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Tuesday 12th December 2017 at 3:28 pm
Absolute disgrace ! Just how much money has CEC wasted, and then how much has it made from decimating green belt.. CEC once again demonstrating Utter contempt for its residents... Can someone convince me ( and others ) why this is a justifiable demand ? ( with menace's ! ) Dick Turpin's got nothing on this shower of incompetents ....
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 12th December 2017 at 5:11 pm
The 1800 residences, which do not currently exist, are not paying any Council tax because CEC are not providing any services to them!
Julie Smith
Tuesday 12th December 2017 at 9:25 pm
Cheeky sods!!! They should be issuing rebates for the complete shambles they've been running for the past few years!!! Jog on!
Julie Smith
Tuesday 12th December 2017 at 9:25 pm
Cheeky sods!!! They should be issuing rebates for the complete shambles they've been running for the past few years!!! Jog on!
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 7:56 am
A well above inflation increase based on a 2018/19 budget that is undeliverable, because CEC have never ever had 1,800 homes built in the borough. I think 1,400 was the best.
Time to start selling off more of the land bank.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 8:39 am
Merge East and West ASAP, Rid us of both unnecessary duplication of roles and this incompetent Council Residents we deserve better... Perhaps one of the silent Wilmslow 4 could explain why this is a justifiable rise ?? considering they will be voting this through against the public's wishes .
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 9:11 am
Cheshire East need to spend more time calculating where they're squandering our hard earned cash. It flows through their wasteful hands like water and when it finally runs out, they simply demand more. They have a guaranteed revenue stream unlike virtually any other business, and the advantage of knowing way in advance of any funding changes. If they're short of money its solely down to chronic financial mismanagement and poor planning. The claimed cash shortage certainly hasn't impinged on the the golden handshakes they so love to dish out.
Janet Taylor
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 3:00 pm
Duplicate salaries, golden handshakes, refurbishments, renewing furniture, equipment, fixtures and fittings, hiding funds intended for communities, expenses for meetings to achieve absolutely zilch, anyone with me on telling this bunch of thieves where they can stick their 5%, can't wait to hear them defend their corrupt goings on in court.
Michael Roberts
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 4:38 pm
Mike Roberts
What they need to do is cut back on the useless top management, and their salaries, instead of passing their bill on to us
Gwynneth Littleton
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 5:17 pm
I have been expecting this after reading the shocking report of over spending on the Alderly Edge medical centre . It read like a crime scene which it is.
Gwynneth Littleton.
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 5:43 pm
I cannot understand all the complaints. You do have the wonderful opportunity every so often to boot them out at election time but you don't.
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 9:05 pm
This is to pay of course for the golden inflation proof pensions that people get when they work for the council.
David Nelson
Thursday 14th December 2017 at 8:49 am
As we've already "lost" senior members of CEC could we manage without such senior positions and use the savings to reduce any increase of taxes? Just a thought!
Pete Taylor
Thursday 14th December 2017 at 12:00 pm
Here is the response to my FOI request to CEC:

“Please could you tell me how much per month is being paid to CEC officers who have been
suspended and who are under investigation for various reasons at this time.”

We have processed this request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I have detailed below the information that is being released to you.
• November 2017 - £35717 (gross salary)
• December 2017 - £39525 (gross salary)

Unfortunately CEC's response was no more than that- I had expected them to tell me how much it had cost since the first suspension, right through to the present date. I would also have liked to know how much is being spent in addition to cover the jobs of those suspended.

It seems that FOI requests have to be very precisely worded in order to get a meaningful response.
Nick Jones
Thursday 14th December 2017 at 1:25 pm
To name but a few; The cost of Lyme Green (£ 3 million +?), The cost of Co-socious (£ 3 million +?), The cost of the ‘Flawed CEC Local Plan’ (£ 3.7 million+ ?) ,The cost of ‘Corefit’ debacle ( £160k+ ), The cost of the ‘free gift’ (not on the balance sheet) of taxpayers money [Not a Loan] to ANSA (£2.4 million), The cost of the ‘Deliberate and systematic’ failures re; Pollution data and its implication to planning decisions ( £ unknown millions !! ), The cost of a non-independent report into Pollution data (£28 k ?), The cost of last year’s 4% Council Tax rise declared by CEC as a ‘saving’ [their words ! ] and now a further planned increase of 7% ?? (£ Many- millions !), The cost of last year PCC increasing the policing precept by 1.9 % to build an empire and employee his old comrades, and now wants a further 5% (£ millions !). The cost of severance to disgraced officers now leaving CEC (£ hundreds of thousands ! ) … As residents we cant afford these incompetents ! Is it any wonder auditors were called in. The Localism Act was invoked to ensure councillors hold the highest ethical Standards. I would suggest with the exception of the good people at CEC with their nose to the grind stone every day ,who actually provide the services and support for residents, that those at the helm politically charged have once again demonstrated their moral and ethical compass to be navigating a fiscal course to financial catastrophe at significant cost to residents.
Whilst The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government may have been referred some of these repeat CEC failures (including planning, suspension, performance etc ), This latest cash demand in light of the fiscal dissipation highlighted above ( that does not highlight legal charges ) is unrealistic and justifies why this small county, smaller than many borough in Metropolitan areas should be merged ASAP with immediate savings. If some others had any dignity and clearly they don’t , they should review their own position and go. As Sir Humphrey himself once said in relation to misuse of revenue “A tiny mistake. The sort that anyone can make” ... Hacker: “A tiny mistake? 75,000 pounds? Give me an example of a big mistake”.... Sir Humphrey: “Letting people find out about it !”… Demonstrate Prudence and common sense with our tax dollars CEC . The true cost here is that significant breach of trust to the electorate. More of the same is not an option !
Vic Barlow
Friday 15th December 2017 at 10:28 am
In the three years Michael Jones was CECLeader council tax increased by ZERO.
If this current demand goes ahead council tax will have rocketed by 12% in two years while slashing bus routes and no discernible increase in anything but pay-offs,investigation costs and salary payments for suspended executives.
Mr Jones managed to maintain services for three consecutive years on zero increase and he was supposed to be the baddy.
Just saying...
Manuel Golding
Friday 15th December 2017 at 12:56 pm
There cannot be any argument to justify CECs extortionate DEMAND of all residents to pay ever MORE council tax. Our argument is simply STOP WASTING OUR MONEY - see Nick Jones' audit above to see just the surface of utter wastage & total contempt and disregard this council has for the "captured" residents.
Vic Barlow is right to make the point Michael Jones delivered a zero increase year upon year. Not like that these days where CEC & the PCC believe we all have bottomless pits of brass just waiting for them to grab it.
It is abundantly clear that the current leadership, including the weak-kneed cabinet, never bother to a) reign in the departmental heads wastage, b) start employing competent dept heads and c) salary them all on ONLY what we can afford.
To ensure this happens we must elect a new breed of competent, independent councillors to see we never have a repeat of the incompetence on display today. The Conservative councillors who are the CEC majority have totally failed and let us all down.
Party politics must have no further part in CECs business, therefore the answer must be to elect many more independents across the borough.
Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) will be doing our best by offering the electorate RoW (independent) candidates. RoW has already shown its value by having three councillors (one on CEC - Toni Fox in Dean Row, and two on WTC - David Jefferay & Mark Goldsmith (both East ward). Their presence has made a difference on WTC and Toni is very active and
increasingly influential at CEC in attempting, along with her Independent colleagues, to turn the ship from the rocks - no easy task when the majority councillors repeatedly give the impression they will not jump ship until it hits the rocks. Interestingly, at least one cabinet member has done that,jumping from the Lib Dems to the Cons, probably for the better opportunities offered by the majority..
Time for a big change is fast approaching - May 2019 are the next elections.
If you would like to help RoW, fund raising, canvassing etc, to better the town or to be considered for council, contact us on 07930 377778 or 07846 082660.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 20th December 2017 at 2:05 pm
The Smoke Screen.. BBC political observation first aired Jan1986, and some 31 years later would appear to be a factual reference for best practice to CEC 'revenue raiders' who continue to demonstrate the best means of defence is "a tax!"
Sir Humph “Taxation isnt about what you need”……. Hacker ”What is it about?" Sir Humph “ the Treasury doesn’t work out what they need to spend & then think how to raise the money” … Hacker “ What does it do ?”
Sir Humph “They pitch for as much as they think they can get away with and then think what to spend it on” ..
Hacker “These figures are just guesses” Sir Humph “ No they are government statistics, they’re.facts !!”