This has been a challenging year and like most councils our main priority has been keeping people safe and well. We have done whatever it took whenever it was needed to ensure we supported people and businesses during one of the most challenging periods I have ever known.
Of course, there are bound to be financial implications arising from the pandemic. Almost every Council income has seen income shrink and costs rise dramatically.
Up and down the country councils are now preparing budgets for the next financial year and consulting with local residents about what they plan to do. Most of them plan to raise Council Tax and many are planning cuts to some services.
I am pleased to tell you that Dartford Borough Council is not going to be one of them.
We have decided that we should not propose any rise in our Council Tax for 2021. Nor do we plan to cut any services - in fact we are looking to expand our support in many areas including the natural environment, carbon reduction and family friendly local environments.
I have no doubt that our plan to freeze Council Tax next year might make us one of few local councils not to impose an increase but we have never been particularly bothered about doing something just because other councils do. We are elected to represent Dartford residents and whether it’s weekly bin collections, free events or increases to your tax bills, we try to take decisions that deliver what residents want.
Like all councils we face both challenges and opportunities. We have a commitment to keeping your bills low and managed to freeze our Council Tax for seven consecutive years but we try to be open and up-front with you if we need bills to rise.
We’ve concluded that while raising your Council Tax next year might generate more money for us, it would also take more money from you and the local economy. This has been a tough year for families and we have to stick together as Dartford looks forward to better days ahead.
We don’t feel we need to raise bills this coming year, so we aren’t.
Although our proposal to freeze council tax and not cut services is pretty ‘taxpayer friendly’ we would still like to hear your views on our DBC budget proposal, even if you support it. We’re also always happy to listen to any views about how the Council could improve.
Please click here to provide us with your comments or write to us at:
Budget 2021, DBC Financial Services,
Leader of the Council
Please send us your comments by 31 January 2021