Council tax rise and spending plans approved for South Tyneside - this is how much you can expect to pay

Council tax is set to rise again in South Tyneside after town hall bosses approved budget plans for the coming year.

By Chris Binding
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 11:31 am

South Tyneside Council gave the green light to increase bills by 2.95% at a budget meeting on Monday, February 28, 2022.

Scroll to the bottom to find out how much you will pay

The council tax rise is made up of a 1.95% increase in core council tax and a 1% government levy ringfenced to help with adult social care services.

Council tax bills are rising again.

Final bills also include extra charges levied on behalf of Tyne and Wear Fire and Civil Defence Authority and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, with both ‘precepts’ increasing this year.

From April 2022, residents living in the lowest value Band A properties, which make up the majority of homes in the borough, will pay an extra 79p per week, or an extra £41.10 per year, towards council, police and fire services.

For an average Band D home, the council tax rise and precepts would also represent a weekly increase of £1.19 and annual increase of £61.66.

The council tax hike comes as bosses look to save £6.6 million by 2023/2024 on top of the £183million the local authority has had to save since 2010.

While some local authorities have chosen to increase council tax by the maximum permitted in 2022/23, South Tyneside Council opted for a lower rate.

Earlier this year councillor Joanne Bell, cabinet member for resources and innovation, said spending plans would continue to protect frontline services despite uncertainty around the sustainability of future government funding for councils.

Cllr Bell confirmed that proposed savings in the 2022/23 council budget would not lead to any job losses, with continued investment into regeneration, highways and delivering renewable energy schemes in each town.

Speaking at the budget meeting this week, Cllr Bell stressed that even with the council tax rise, South Tyneside would maintain its position as having the “third lowest council tax in the region out of twelve [local] authorities”.

Cllr Bell went on to say: “In order to maintain our incredibly successful record of investment in the borough, and as council tax now makes up more than 50% of our revenue income due to significant historic falls in government grant, an increase in council tax is proposed for 2022/23.

“It is proposed to increase core council tax by 1.95%, significantly below the prevailing level of inflation, which at the time of writing was 5.4% but is rising sharply.

“In addition, a further 1% will be applied through the government’s adult social care levy.

“The overall 2.95% is separate from the council tax increases proposed by the fire and police authorities for the services which they provide and which are independent of the council.”

Despite budget pressures, council chiefs pledged to protect the borough’s most vulnerable by investing into new accommodation schemes, as well as continued investment in its own housing stock and building council homes for the first time in over a decade.

The council’s capital budget (including the Housing Programme) for 2022/23 was agreed as around £110.618 million.

This aims to invest in line with the council’s community priorities, from creating the conditions for economic recovery and investment, to supporting town centres, villages and hospitality and investing in the natural and built environment.

Key investments in 2022/23 include around £6.139 million for South Shields Town Centre, £14.112 million towards the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and £7.505 million towards the Holborn Riverside Development.

Other investments include £2million towards road resurfacing and £8.5 million towards ‘strategic transport priorities’, as well as investments into the council’s fleet and the relocation of Epinay School.

During this year’s budget meeting, an amendment was submitted by the South Tyneside Independents Group and Conservative opposition councillors.

This called for funding to be allocated for a ‘South Tyneside Rapid Response Community Warden Scheme’ in the borough, costed for three community wardens, two vehicles, body-worn cameras and computers.

Councillor Glenn Thompson, leader of the South Tyneside Independents Group, said the proposals would help “combat” low-level anti-social behaviour “at the time its happening” – however the amendment was defeated by a vote.

Councillor David Francis, leader of the council’s Green Group, praised several elements of the Labour Group’s budget, including investment into active travel corridors, the Stronger Shores scheme, low energy street lighting and increased litter/recycling bins.

While adding that a £1.5 million investment into the “remodelling” of South Shields Town Hall in 2022/23 “might raise a few eyebrows” as residents face a ‘cost of living crisis’, Cllr Francis noted the impact of government funding cuts to local authorities and said an alternative model of funding was “urgently needed”.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, added the council would continue to engage and consult with residents and partners to help shape spending plans going forward.

Closing the budget debate, she said: “Balancing a budget is never easy and I would like to place on record our thanks to Cllr Bell and the cabinet for the work they have done over the last 12 months.

“The challenges we face in a very uncertain world means we always have to be prudent and diligent in how we manage our finances, however this [budget] still allows us to back up our plans and projects with the necessary resources as required.”

The budget proposed by the council’s Labour Group was eventually passed with 35 votes in favour, five votes against and two abstentions.

Despite the council tax rise, around 11,000 working age households on low income will be given a £100 reduction in council tax in 2022/23, with the discount automatically applied to their council tax bill.

This is in addition to the council tax support scheme which helps around 18,400 households a year and the council tax energy rebate for bands A – D announced earlier this year.

The council is advising residents to register to pay council tax by direct debit in order to speed up the rebate process.

More information can be found at:www.southtyneside.gov.uk/counciltax

Annual council tax 2022/23 in South Tyneside including precepts for police and fire and rescue services.

Band A -£1,323.01

Band B – £1,543.52

Band C – £1,764.01

Band D – £1,984.52

Band E – £2,425.52

Band F – £2,866.53

Band G – £3,307.53

Band H – £3,969.04

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling South Tyneside’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe – and click here to get a snapshot of the Gazette’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.