Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder, presented a report informing Members that on 1 April 2013, the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme had been abolished and replaced with a locally-determined scheme known as the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. South Lakeland District Council had introduced a scheme that mirrored the previous national scheme, which meant that nobody was worse off under the Local Scheme and that the most vulnerable people in the District were protected from any reductions in support.
After considering options for change, including the additional income, costs and risks associated with any changes, it was expected that the current Scheme would continue unchanged for the financial year 2022/23. This was with the exception of applying the annual upratings and other minor income and capital disregards.
The report had also been though Cabinet which had recommended that Council approve the Scheme.
Councillor Jarvis felt that approval of the Scheme was critical as it provided vital help to many of the poorest and most vulnerable members of South Lakeland’s community. He moved the recommendations contained within the report and was seconded by Councillor David Webster.
Members expressed strong support for the Scheme and in particular Councillor Suzie Pye, Health, Wellbeing and Poverty Alleviation Portfolio Holder, who drew attention to the fact that South Lakeland District Council remained one of only a handful of local authorities offering up to 100% Council Tax reduction, which went beyond its statutory obligation.
It was unanimously
RESOLVED – That
(1) the current Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme be approved and adopted, it being the most appropriate scheme for this Council for the financial year commencing 1 April 2022, subject to the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer), in consultation with the Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder, being authorised to:-
(a) make all necessary updates to this Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme to comply with any statutory requirements that may be issued by Central Government;
(b) make all necessary amendments to the Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme to uprate the allowances and premiums in accordance with the HB Circular A11/2021 regarding annual upratings issued in December 2021 by the Department of Work and Pensions; and
(c) publish the updated scheme in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 2012; and
(2) any work on a further Scheme be carried out as part of the Local Government Reorganisation work streams for the new Westmorland and Furness Council.
Report author: Morag Mackenzie
Publication date: 09/03/2022
Date of decision: 22/02/2022
Decided at meeting: 22/02/2022 - Council