DRAFT budget proposals for Stratford District Council have gone out to consultation, covering the next five years.

The draft includes a proposed council tax increase this year of £5 per household, the maximum allowed by the government.

This means a Band D property would increase in April this year from £149.12 to £154.12.

Although the collecting agent for council tax, the District Council only receives 7.5% of council tax paid by residents. Warwickshire County Council receives 76.6%, the police 12.6%, while towns and parishes get 3.3%.

It comes amid uncertainty about government funding in the long term as the council has only been allocated funding for one year which is broadly in line with 2021/22 figures, but beyond 2022/23 the future level of funding is unknown.

Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford District Council, says: “The proposals which we are consulting upon are prudent. They allow us to provide extremely valuable resources in some of our key priority areas, including addressing the impact of climate change. The levels of uncertainty in the wider economy are extremely high. The prudent approach we are adopting will enable us to be in a better position to cope with any unexpected shocks.

“Until we receive greater clarity about our longer term financial position, we have endeavoured to protect the provision of services to residents for next year. Although we are expecting to make significant savings through our ambition to merge with Warwick District Council, the budget in future years will be extremely dependent upon the level of support from Government.

“Covid-19 has had, and continues to have, a massive impact upon the wider District and on the Council. The world has changed, continues to change and we have to continually adapt to that changed world.”

The consultation is open now before the budget is considered by the cabinet on February 7.