Readers weigh in on council-tax hike

Mercury readers have weighed in on North Somerset Council’s recent decision to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent.

From April, the average band D property will have to pay the authority £1,432.50, up from £1,378.50 in 2018-19.

Another two per cent increase will be ringfenced for adult social care in the area.

The authority will boost investment in early intervention and prevention services for children and cultural development, revise parking charges, invest in a programme to fill empty retail units in Weston's town centre and change garden-waste services.

The administration said, to balance the budget and deliver its services in the district, it had to find an additional £5million in funding cuts from central government, as well as £11million in savings.

Council leader Don Davies said: "We are committed to ensuring our council is more open, fairer and greener, and this budget reflects those ambitions."

Many took to social media to share their views.

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Stephen Watters said: "It's just simply not enough and will not halt the deterioration of our social services.

"An extra £4million-a-year minimum is needed on top of cancelling the planned cuts and savings.

"The books are never going to balance, and the council is heading for insolvency."

Chris Meyer said: "It's hardly the fault of the local council if we vote in a government that has slashed local government funding in North Somerset to the tune of £100million. Be grumpy, sure, but at least at the right folk."

Rachel Stark said: "Too many people with an opinion based on their emotions rather than the data.

"Talk to a councillor or civil servant or go on the council website. Talk to a parent about the cuts in their school. Talk to someone who knows and understands before you form an opinion, please."

Alan Suey said: "We don't mind paying if we can see the benefits, but all we see is cuts.

"Time to stand up and fight. The only way to make them change is to stop paying them."

Nicki Sisman said: "If we want improved services, it's only right that we pay for them.

"A small increase to prevent further cuts seems a good way forward, in my opinion."