Leeds council tax bills to go up by £70... but social housing rents to fall

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Leeds’s annual local services budget is set to be rubber-stamped tomorrow, with a five per cent council tax rise forming part of a £492.67m overall financial plan for the city in the year ahead.

The council tax for 2017/18 will increase by 1.99 per cent, plus the Government’s optional adult social care precept of three per cent.

It means families in an average Band D property can expect their bills to go up by £70 a year from April.

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There is a small ray of light for council housing tenants in non Private Finance Initiative areas, who will see their rent go down by one per cent.

But there will be an increase of two per cent in rents in PFI areas, five per cent more in garage rents; two per cent to be added to district heating charges, a £2 per week increase on council housing service charges in multi-storeys and £1 more in low/medium rise properties. The charges for tenants in sheltered support will double to £4 per week from the current £2.

Leeds City Council says it needs to find a further £75.3 million of additional income and savings by March 2018 to plug a shortfall brought about by Government cuts.

Tomorrow’s Leeds budget setting comes as the Local Government Association last night warned that councils are being pushed “perilously close to the financial edge” by Government cuts. However Ministers insist they will prop up adult social care with a £240m grant, and have provided almost £200bn nationally for essential services.

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