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Cheshire West residents asked for their say on Council Tax changes
10:00am Saturday 18th August 2012 in News
CHESHIRE West residents are being asked for their views on a proposed loal scheme for Council Tax benefit.
Questionnaires are now being distributed to every home across the borough as part of a 12-week consultation.
The Government is abolishing the national Council Tax benefit scheme and replacing it with schemes set by local authorities, meaning funding will be passed to Council from next year.
However, funding will be reduced by 10 per cent meaning there will be a £2.6m annual shortfall in the budget to support people on low incomes who currently receive the benefit.
The consultation questionnaire details the ways the Council hopes to counteract this shortfall and asks residents for their views.
The options include reducing Council Tax benefit to working age claimants by at least 20 per cent and increasing Council Tax for all residents by 1.7 per cent, equating to around £25 a year for a band D property.
Councillor Les Ford, Executive Member for Resources, said: “Each Council must decide its own approach to the Council Tax benefit scheme, which is why it is so important that West Cheshire residents have their say.
“These changes could affect every household in the borough, either by reducing support to those currently in receipt of Council Tax benefit or by increasing Council Tax charges or reducing services.
“All the feedback we receive will be taken into consideration when a decision is taken on a new scheme at the end of this year.”
The questionnaire can be completed at cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
Further details of the changes can also be found on the Council website or by calling 0300 123 7032. The consultation will close on November 4.