Up and down the country Councils are preparing their budgets for the next financial year.
Here in Dartford there are some underlying principles that have been at the heart of our budgets for several years. We are committed to maintaining our core services and delivering them in a way that residents tell us they want. We are also committed to keeping tax low and to keep an unswerving focus on celebrating and enhancing our communities.
Like all councils we face both challenges and opportunities. Our commitment to keeping your bills low saw DBC council tax rates frozen for seven consecutive years but our determination to maintain good services means we have been open and straight-forward when they have needed to rise.
Two years ago, we said that subject to any unforeseen new pressures we expected to limit rises in DBC council tax to just £5 a year (less than 10p a week) for three years. We projected that this would enable us to continue investing in new family facilities, continue to provide services like weekly bin collections and continue to deliver great events and services for local people.
I am delighted to tell you that our position has not changed and we have no need to raise council tax beyond the level we projected two years ago. Thanks to careful management, it means an annual increase of just £4.95 for the average Band D property.
Other authorities may take a different approach to tax and services but for us the retention of popular services delivered in the way our tax-payers want them goes hand-in-hand with keeping bills as low as we can. That's our goal.
We are always happy to hear you views on the DBC budget and on ways you feel the Council could make our services better or more efficient.
Please click here to provide us with your comments or write to us at Budget 2019, DBC Financial Services, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR.
Leader of the Council
Please send us your comments by 31 January 2019.