COUNCIL tax in the Cotswolds is to be cut, for the second time in the same number of years, by three per cent.
The plans were revealed as part of a last minute amendment by council leader Cllr Lynden Stowe at Cotswold District Council’s meeting on Thursday, February 27.
He said that the reduction, which will see adults in a Band D property pay CDC £133.05 a year, £4.11 less than 2013, was probably the joint biggest cut to council tax in the country.
“It’s a pleasure to pass on some of the substantial savings we have made to the taxpayer for a second year in a row, especially when most cost of living charges are on the rise,” he said.
“Leaving more money in people’s pockets can only be good for our local economy.”
Meanwhile, Gloucestershire County Council has agreed to freeze its cut of the council tax to £1,090.50 while the amount being paid to the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner has increased by 1.99 per cent to £207.73.
This means that the average council tax bill for a Band D property in 2014/15 will be £1,490.63.
As well as the tax cut, Cllr Stowe also announced a host of spending plans for the coming year, including a £200,000 investment in the district’s flood defenses and the introduction of a new parking tariff at Cirencester’s Brewery car park.
Motorists using the car park on Sundays will now be able to pay 50p for a 30 minute and £1.30 for an hour as well as the option to pay £1.50 for an all day ticket.
Cllr Stowe said that CDC understood that many drivers only wanted to use the car park for a short period of time on a Sunday and that the “new charges would be even fairer”.
The Liberal Democrat group on CDC also submitted a budget amendment that would completely eradicate Sunday charges in the car park.
Cirencester mayor Joe Harris said: “There is no rationale for the charges to be in force. Residents hate them, businesses hate them, let’s get rid of them once and for all.”
Despite the group’s best efforts, the amendment was thrown out with 23 members of the council voting against it.
It was also heard that, because of CDC’s cost-cutting measures, there will be a freeze on car parking charges, leisure fees and green waste collection until 2016 at the earliest.
Last year the council made headlines when it cut its council tax portion by more than five per cent, a reduction larger than anywhere else in the country.