BAND D council tax payers in Chichester District will pay £156 more in 2018/19 after members approved the increase at its March meeting.

Councillor Peter Wilding, cabinet member for finance at Chichester District Council (CDC) said:?“We are keen to keep council tax as low as we can, while still being able to protect vital public services for our residents,”

“The council is continuing to work hard to ensure support is in place for the people in our community who need it most. We also recognise we need to make further savings to cope with cuts to our Government funding and so we continue to work on our deficit reduction plan.

“This aims to generate further income and savings over the next few years, which we hope will minimise future council tax increases. Although we collect all of the council tax, we only keep around nine per cent of this.

“We feel £3 a week for the average taxpayer is excellent value for money considering the many services we deliver 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We have been able to achieve this through proactive and robust financial planning. With significant government cuts, this has not been easy.

“However, we have done everything possible to reduce our costs, while continuing to maintain important frontline services.

“Unlike many other local authorities, we are also making sure we protect those on low incomes by continuing to maintain the same level of council tax reduction we offer.

“This means those on low incomes will be protected from any increase.”

The move follows West Sussex County Council’s approval of a 4.95 per cent increase to meet a budget deficit of £22.3million, which includes the two per cent social care levy.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne had already confirmed the police precept will rise by £12 a year in 2018/19 for an average Band D property.