Latest Public Sector News


District councils demand £25m tax hike powers

The District Councils Network (DCN) has tabled plans with the government for a 2% ‘prevention’ council tax precept aimed at raising an extra £25m.

As part of its submission to the Local Government Finance Settlement, the organisation said there needs to be changes to the reportedly “unfair” council tax system currently in place.

In total, the DCN says its plans could raise as much as £34m for councils to be used to relieve demand on health and care services.

It claims that the current £5 alternative proposal to councils increasing council tax by up to 3% over the next two years causes problems for districts because they generally levy lower taxes, meaning they will miss out on revenue.

Instead of these plans, the DCN suggests allowing districts to impose an upper limit of £7.50, a move it says will raise an extra £9m with relatively little impact on the taxpayer.

In addition, it proposes the introduction of a 2% precept for preventative social care – which it argued would fill in the gaps left by current plans and provide £25m in additional funding for district councils.

Cllr John Fuller, DCN chairman, said there would be 88 councils negatively affected by the current plans, out of the 200 represented by his group.

“The proposals in the settlement need to go further to ensure fairness for shire district areas compared to unitary/metropolitan authorities where the whole council tax charge can be increased to fund social care and prevention issues,” he commented.

“Our 2% prevention precept would reflect the role that districts play in prevention and demand-reduction, such as improving housing, providing leisure and recreational facilities, offering debt advice, tackling homelessness, supporting troubled families and improving air quality all of which help reduce demand on social care and health services.”

Fuller went on to say that spending on prevention at district council level can make a major impact on national health spending, saving money for the NHS.

Top image: Joe Giddens

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

02/09/2019Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

In February this year, official Northern Powerhouse Partner, Cognitive Publishing, delivered EvoNorth 2019.  The two day event was designed to amplify and highlight futur... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >