Council to consider council tax freeze

Wooden cut out model of a house and the text Council Tax

Argyll and Bute Council is to consider freezing council tax at a special meeting next month, following a series of discussions with the Scottish Government over the last few weeks.

Council Leader Cllr Robin Currie said: “We can now look at freezing council tax for the coming year. We have been lobbying hard for equal support for Argyll and Bute which reflects the incredibly severe impact of unprecedented severe weather in October last year. We made a very strong case for that to the Scottish Government at a meeting we asked for in January this year. 

“We have continued to press ministers ever since on a range of other issues. We are of course delighted that they have listened to our calls for severe weather support, and that they have now provided for Argyll and Bute that extra assistance that we are fighting for.”

Confirmation of additional funding totalling around £6.26m means that the council’s overall financial circumstances are improved. Some of this depends on freezing council tax. 

This includes £2.3m of support for the impact of the severe weather that Argyll and Bute had to face in October 2023, confirmed on 18th March 2024 by the Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy following discussions earlier in the year.

It comes alongside confirmation that £62.7m agreed as part of the UK Government’s Spring Budget will be made available to Scottish councils which freeze council tax. This would mean an extra £1.1m for Argyll and Bute. 

Freezing council tax would also secure a share of the Scottish Government’s £147m funding, which would equate to £2.86m for Argyll and Bute. 

Cllr Currie continued: “We see this as acknowledgement of a number of significant issues. 

“It is recognition of the unique challenges that Argyll and Bute faces, which we fight for at every possible opportunity. 

“It reinforces the important role of local government. 

“And it supports what has been our priority all along – protecting vital local jobs and services. 

“I will be recommending that we freeze council tax for this year at a special meeting of the council.”

The next step is to make arrangements for a special meeting of Argyll and Bute Council next month. When a date has been confirmed, details will be made public as soon as possible.

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