Agenda item

Local Council Tax Support Scheme

This report recommends the Council’s Local Council Tax Support scheme for the forthcoming 2021/22 financial year

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources presented the report on the Local Council Tax Support Scheme. He stated the second recommendation contained within the report would now include a Council Tax discount for Special Constables that resided in South Kesteven. This would form part of the approved Local Council Tax Support Scheme, and was in line with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s recommended discount to Special Constables.

 

The scheme was to be reviewed annually, however, it was intended that the Special Constables discount should remain in place until at least the end of this Council’s term, in May 2023.

 

The current Local Council Tax Support scheme had been in place since April 2013 and the key criteria remained unchanged.  The current cost of the scheme was £7.2m, an increase on the previous year for working age claimants.  Although the current number of claimants had stabilised, it was noted that an increase was expected due to the pandemic and the current economic climate. The Council’s share of the total cost for 2020/21 as at 11 January 2021, was based on a 9% share of the total cost of the scheme.  Working age claimants were capped at a maximum entitlement of 80%, although pensioners continued to be protected at 100%.  The scheme was supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Lincolnshire County Council.

 

The recommendations of the report, including the amendment were seconded.

 

Members welcomed the proposal to include a discount for Special Constables and were informed of the numbers of Special Constables there had been over the years and, the number of hours of un-paid voluntary work they had undertaken.

 

A point of order was raised in relation to the change of recommendation before Members.  The Monitoring Officer clarified that the Cabinet Member was able to change the recommendations detailed in the report, prior to them being considered.

 

Debate followed on what Members agreed was a welcome change to the recommendation.  Members queried how the change in recommendation had been reached.  Information on other Lincolnshire Local Authorities arrangements for Special Constables were not known at the time Cabinet had made their original recommendation. The overwhelming support from Members and what other Local Authorities had agreed, had helped the Cabinet, together with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources to re-consider and amend the original recommendation.

 

A request for a recorded vote was asked for in accordance with Article 4.13.4 of the Constitution. It did not receive the required number of signatories, therefore a vote by exception was taken.

 

On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

 

1.    To approve the Local Council Tax Support scheme 2021/22 based on the same overarching criteria as the current year’s scheme.

2.    To include a Council Tax discount for Special Constables that reside in the South Kesteven area, as part of the approved scheme. This was in line with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s recommended discount.

 

The scheme was to be reviewed annually, however, it was intended that the Special Constables discount should remain in place until at least the end of this Council’s term, in May 2023.

 

 

Supporting documents: