‘This year, we will need to collect £47m’, says council chairman

  Posted: 12.01.22 at 13:15 by Charlotte Lillywhite

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In his latest regular column, the chairman of Maldon District Council, Councillor Mark Heard, discusses council tax and where residents’ money goes in the district.

With Christmas and New Year over, we are looking now towards our budgets for the next 12 months. Now I’m sure you know that Maldon District Council (MDC) collects your council tax and this year, we will need to collect £47 million.

But did you know that MDC retains just 11p in every £1 of council tax collected? So … who gets what, and what happens to it?

Well, first it’s put into a collection fund and from there it is shared with other organisations who provide your services. From every £1 collected, Essex County Council receives 71p, to pay for services such as schools, social services, highways, libraries and more.

MDC receives its 11p, to help pay for services such as collecting refuse, street cleansing, planning, leisure services, maintaining open spaces and improving facilities for our community.

The police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex receives 11p to finance the police service and community safety, whilst fire and rescue receives 4p.

Parish and town councils receive an average of 3p. As you know from a previous article, they have their own responsibilities to provide some of your very local services.

MDC does have two other main sources of income. Grants paid to us by HM Government out of the taxes it collects and business rates. Again, we collect business rates, but these are shared out between central government, MDC, Essex County Council and the Essex Fire Authority.

I’m sorry to say that just like you, MDC faces cost increases, so we had to increase our 2021/22 council tax charges by 2.5 per cent. This saw a Band D property charge increase last year from £202.40 to £207.40p which equated to an increase of £5 a year or an additional 9.6p per week.

The Localism Act 2011 says that if any major authority (which excludes parish and town councils) sets an excessive basic amount of Council Tax, then the billing authority (MDC) must hold a referendum. The electorate will then decide whether to approve the excessive council tax or not. If it is not approved by a majority vote, a lower amount will be set using the secretary of state’s guidelines.

No major authority exceeded the threshold for 2020/21.

Any personal data is held only for the administration of council tax and we only use it to contact you in relation to your account. We don’t share it externally with anyone beyond what we are required to do so by law for the purposes of administering council tax and the prevention and detection of fraud.

I hope that explains things around council tax.

As always, keep safe.

Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council

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