Almost all councils in England (95%) plan to raise council tax this April, according to research from the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU).
The findings, which come from 113 councils – roughly a third of all councils in England – follows the news that councils can increase tax bills by up to 5.99%without consulting residents from the 2018/19 tax year.
The LGiU – which says it’s the largest independent local authority membership organisation in the country – found that councils are having to increase council tax and other charges (93% of councils) in order to make ends meet.
Meanwhile, two thirds of councils surveyed say they will be forced to dip into their reserves.
Cut backs may also have to be made to key community services including parks and leisure (53% of councils), adult social care (40%), and youth centres (34%).
Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, comments: “Councils are on the edge. They are for the most part holding services together (though a significant minority are not). But they can only do this this by raising council tax, increasing charging and draining their reserves.”