Residents to pay increased tax from April 2017

Worthing Borough Council meeting on Tuesday evening
Worthing Borough Council meeting on Tuesday evening

Worthing residents will be paying more on their council tax bills from April 2017.

At a meeting held on Tuesday, Worthing Borough Council voted to increase their portion of council tax by 1.9 per cent.

The increase will see Band D council tax rise from £220.23 in 2016/17 to £224.64 in 2017/18.

Worthing residents have also seen a 3.95 per cent rise from West Sussex County Council and a 3.36 per cent rise from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

Council leader councillor Dan Humphreys said the proposed increase showed the council’s ‘strong ambitions’ for the year to come.

“This budget allows the council to continue the services it currently provides.

“Elsewhere in the country for example, residents have had their bins collected once every two weeks or once every four weeks. Not in Worthing. We have a team working 52 weeks a year, seven days a week providing this service.
“For five years, the council tax in Worthing froze as local councils across the country increased their council tax.

“I am confident that this budget outlines the strong ambitions this council has for the regeneration of the town.”

Councillor Bob Smytherman said the council budget ‘lacked ambition’ and wanted more money to be put into tourism.

He said: “This budget has stated that less than £2,000 will be spent on tourism whereas more than £1.5m – ten per cent of the whole budget – will be pumped into the theatres.

“I love the theatres and don’t want to see them struggle but we need them to start supporting themselves.”

“I want to see about £160,000 which is due to be spent on the theatres being spent on tourism instead.”

Councillor Mark Nolan said the council would be funding tourism through the economic development fund.

“The budget proposes £522,750 will be spent on economic development including tourism so a little more than Mr Smytherman has stated.”

Mr Humphreys also defended the funding of Worthing Theatres.

He said: “The money spent on Worthing Theatres is beneficial to our residents as they return £7 for every pound we put in.

“Tourism will be funded by the economic development as stated in the budget.”

The council tax proposal was approved by 28 councillors with no votes against and five abstentions.