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Gravesham council agree council tax hike, will Dartford follow suit?

PUBLISHED: 14:46 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:46 22 February 2017

Gravesham Borough Council

Gravesham Borough Council

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Dartford's councillors will meet next week

Dartford civic centreDartford civic centre

Residents could see their council tax rise for the first time in seven years, if plans go through next week.

Dartford’s councillors will meet on Monday to approve this year’s budget.

Under cabinet plans, residents in a typical Band D property could see the amount they pay to the borough council rise by £5.

Documents from next week’s meeting claim if the council doesn’t bring in the rise, it could lose £856,000 over the next five years, as local authorities cope with the loss of government support grants by 2020.

Outlining some of the key changes in the proposed budget, Dartford council is expected to slash £352,000 from the Fairfield Leisure Centre, with the council set to receive a ‘significant contribution’ from the centre’s current contractors.

An extra £200,000 is expected to be pumped in to providing temporary accommodation for residents from around the borough.

Earlier this week, Gravesham councillors approved plans to hike their council tax precept by £4.95.

According to the council, the borough has the second lowest spending power in Kent, spending on average, £104 per head.

Deputy leader David Turner said: “We’ve had to make some really tough decisions in the last few months because the circumstances we face are truly unprecedented. Nobody wants to increase council tax but, in light of government cuts, we ultimately find ourselves with no choice.

“At 2.65 per cent, the increase represents a potential extra £170,000 to the council, set against a cut in government funding of over £1million.

“We feel it’s a modest increase of £4.95 for a Band D property representing less than 10 pence a week.”

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