£8.8m cuts could force council tax increase

First published in News

COUNCIL tax could be increased by 3.85 per cent as Town Hall chiefs struggle to make an extra £8.8 million of cuts.

It is one of the options facing councillors as they prepare the town's tough budget It comes after Bolton Council’s executive approved a £34.6 million cuts programme — including the loss of 486 posts and service cuts.

Now councillors are being asked to choose between whether they raise council tax, spend reserves or make cuts to services.

Bolton’s ruling cabinet will meet on Monday when they will choose between eight financial options and will also decide the services which will be affected by the cuts.

Whichever financial choice they make will mean cuts to services but the higher council tax is raised and the more reserves spent, then the fewer cuts will be needed.

Bolton Council will not raise its council tax level higher than two per cent, which is the cut-off point when the authority would have to hold a town referendum on the change.

But because waste and transport costs are calculated separately, the actual rise for homeowners could exceed two per cent.

Options are a rise of 0.7 per cent, of 2.4 per cent, of 3.5 per cent and 3.85 per cent.

Depending on which option they choose, a band D householde could pay between £9.99 and £54.32 extra per year and a band A resident would pay between £6.66 and £36.21 more each year.

Raising council tax by 3.85 per cent would generate £2 million extra in 2013/14 and £3.1 million in 2015/16.

Town Hall chiefs have drawn up a list of services that could be affected by cuts, which have been separated into three categories — £4.4 million of difficult cuts, £2.5 million of harder cuts and £3.7 million of very hard cuts. Councillors also have to decide whether to spend £10 million reserves at £2 million per year or whether to save the money to be used as a lump sum for capital investment.

Sean Harriss, chief executive of Bolton Council, said: “Clearly the council faces a series of difficult and complex decisions when they deliberate the 2013/15 budget.

“There are choices around levels of savings from services where those savings can be found, there is a potential increase in council tax levels and the best way to use one-off resources.”

Council leader Cliff Morris said: “Three authorities in Greater Manchester have announced council tax rises — Manchester by 3.7 per cent, Oldham by 3.5 per cent and Rochdale by 3.5 per cent.

“Labour-run Salford and Tory-run Trafford are both planning to keep the tax at 2012-13 levels. Prime Minister David Cameron had called for national freeze in council tax bills and the government has offered Bolton Council a £1 million grant if it agrees not to increase tax this year.

Cllr Morris added: “I am disappointed that we are left with another £9 million to find. It is a big challenge.

“There is only so much fat on anything and we are down to the bone now. We are now looking at areas where we possibly wouldn’t want to do these cuts. It is a big challenge for us having to find this extra amount.”

n See tomorrow's The Bolton News for more details of the budget process and the tough decisions councillors face

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:35am Wed 6 Feb 13

steveG says...

Perhaps privatise waste collection and highway services and council tax could be reduced?.

I would be vehemently against any increase as long as we pay obscene salaries to the Management.
Perhaps privatise waste collection and highway services and council tax could be reduced?. I would be vehemently against any increase as long as we pay obscene salaries to the Management. steveG
  • Score: 0

9:55am Wed 6 Feb 13

F.D.R. says...

steveG wrote:
Perhaps privatise waste collection and highway services and council tax could be reduced?. I would be vehemently against any increase as long as we pay obscene salaries to the Management.
If these services were privatised would you hold the same objection to the private company management being paid obscene salaries?

Considering it would still be your taxes paying them.
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: Perhaps privatise waste collection and highway services and council tax could be reduced?. I would be vehemently against any increase as long as we pay obscene salaries to the Management.[/p][/quote]If these services were privatised would you hold the same objection to the private company management being paid obscene salaries? Considering it would still be your taxes paying them. F.D.R.
  • Score: 0

10:23am Wed 6 Feb 13

Sick of paying of paying for the idle who DONT want to work! says...

how about morris and the other fat cat leaches take a cut, do they really justify the expenses they claim? I think not.
how about morris and the other fat cat leaches take a cut, do they really justify the expenses they claim? I think not. Sick of paying of paying for the idle who DONT want to work!
  • Score: 0

11:26am Wed 6 Feb 13

Harry-Joe says...

Sick of paying of paying for the idle who DONT want to work! wrote:
how about morris and the other fat cat leaches take a cut, do they really justify the expenses they claim? I think not.
I agree!

Cut from the top down!
[quote][p][bold]Sick of paying of paying for the idle who DONT want to work![/bold] wrote: how about morris and the other fat cat leaches take a cut, do they really justify the expenses they claim? I think not.[/p][/quote]I agree! Cut from the top down! Harry-Joe
  • Score: 0

9:09pm Wed 6 Feb 13

bwfc58 says...

There is no Greater Manchester Council. so why Bolton news and Morris . keep banging on about it . and there is no need to put Council tax up at all as very soon there will be no Services left for Bolton council to pay for . my wage as not gone up for the last 2 years . and now i am finding it a Struggle to pay my bills . but hey Morris it will not Affect you with all the Expensive's you Claim for. we Should all Vote the UKIP in stead all any of the 3 Main Partys as soon as we all get the Chance and give them a go at running this Country .before its to late.
There is no Greater Manchester Council. so why Bolton news and Morris . keep banging on about it . and there is no need to put Council tax up at all as very soon there will be no Services left for Bolton council to pay for . my wage as not gone up for the last 2 years . and now i am finding it a Struggle to pay my bills . but hey Morris it will not Affect you with all the Expensive's you Claim for. we Should all Vote the UKIP in stead all any of the 3 Main Partys as soon as we all get the Chance and give them a go at running this Country .before its to late. bwfc58
  • Score: 0

10:48pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Chrome1 says...

But hey, no one has mentioned the fact that council tax cannot rise by more than 2%. Even if our stinking council find a loophole, the money will be clawed back next year.
But hey, no one has mentioned the fact that council tax cannot rise by more than 2%. Even if our stinking council find a loophole, the money will be clawed back next year. Chrome1
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Chrome1 says...

Bwfc58, you should definitely vote ukip if it means you improve your language skills.
The other comment at the beginning was a bit stupid as well, what has privatisation of services got to do with anything? We would still have to pay for them.
One solution for the council would be to sack anyone who takes more than two days' off sick in a six month rolling period. No ifs or buts, just show them the door.
Bwfc58, you should definitely vote ukip if it means you improve your language skills. The other comment at the beginning was a bit stupid as well, what has privatisation of services got to do with anything? We would still have to pay for them. One solution for the council would be to sack anyone who takes more than two days' off sick in a six month rolling period. No ifs or buts, just show them the door. Chrome1
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Citizen Cane says...

NOw here's something curious - in the private sector there is no meaningful wage inflation. In the public sector there is no official wage inflation (so they would have taxpayers believe) yet public sectir wages continue to rise through the INCREMENT system. Basically, you don't do anymore but you are paid more because you have been a useless jobsworth for yet another year : yippee!

Why else do you think that councils keep spending more each year?
NOw here's something curious - in the private sector there is no meaningful wage inflation. In the public sector there is no official wage inflation (so they would have taxpayers believe) yet public sectir wages continue to rise through the INCREMENT system. Basically, you don't do anymore but you are paid more because you have been a useless jobsworth for yet another year : yippee! Why else do you think that councils keep spending more each year? Citizen Cane
  • Score: 0

11:37am Mon 4 Mar 13

gazza898 says...

3.5% what a joke our wages don't rise
by this amount this is an unlawful rise

and against government policy what a
disgrace.
3.5% what a joke our wages don't rise by this amount this is an unlawful rise and against government policy what a disgrace. gazza898
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree