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News release from Wyre Forest District Council – Council approves budget

Wyre Forest District Council set its budget for 2022-23 at the full council meeting last night (Wednesday 23 February) and decided to raise its share of the council tax by 2.23% or just £5 for the year at Band D.

All bodies funded through council tax have now set their budgets for 2022-23 raising their charges by varying amounts.

Other bodies have increased their share of council tax as follows (£ amounts relate to Band D):

Worcestershire County Council 3.94% – (of which 3% is being ringfenced to fund adult social care) £52.95.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner 3.94% – £9.47.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority 1.96% – £1.72.

It means overall an average increase of £72.34, or 3.73% a year for Wyre Forest properties in Band D. Exact increases will range from 3.05% to 3.82% depending on which town or parish residents live in.

The majority of householders will face smaller increases than the average Band D increase of £72.34 per annum, as almost three quarters of all homes in Wyre Forest are in Band A to C.

At the start of the month the government announced support with rising energy bills including a one-off £150 energy rebate payment. This is for council tax payers in bands A-D.

The district council will be dealing with these payments separately to the council tax billing system. It will be using the council tax list to identify eligible households. The council is urging residents to sign up to pay their council tax by direct debit, as customers who are eligible for a rebate and pay using this method are like to receive their rebate in April.

Wyre Forest District Council is considering ways to issue the rebate for residents who do not pay their council tax by direct debit. It may take longer for these residents to receive the rebate.

More details will be available on the council’s website as soon as government guidance on how it will be administered is issued. Residents are asked not to ring or email the council about the energy rebate at this time.

Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Capital Portfolio, Councillor Mary Rayner said: “We send out the council tax bills, but we keep only 11 pence in every £1 we collect. The rest of the money is passed on to county, town or parish councils and the blue light services.

“We will continue to look for more efficient ways of doing things and are keen to continue to grow our income so we keep any future increases to a minimum.”

“At what is an extremely busy time for our Council Tax team they are now being ask to administer the energy bill rebates. We are waiting for government guidance on this but would urge people to sign up to pay their Council Tax bill by direct debit as this will help speed up payment to them if they are eligible. “

A full breakdown of where people’s money goes will be included on the Wyre Forest District Council website once the council tax bills are sent out in March.