‘Tax on Adur’s poorest’ resisted again – despite cost concern

The meeting was held at the Shoreham Centre
The meeting was held at the Shoreham Centre

A weekly council tax charge for some of Adur’s poorest residents will not be introduced, senior councillors decided on Tuesday.

Adur District Council cabinet members voted against introducing a £5 weekly charge for all working age residents who currently pay no council tax.

The decision mirrored the stance taken by the authority since 2013, when partners Worthing Borough Council brought in the £5 charge.

Councillor Angus Dunn, Adur cabinet member for resources, said this would continue – despite cost implications.

“We have a proud record of being one of the few authorities which retains the council tax scheme as is,” he said.

“Regardless of the fact it is becoming more difficult to manage that now we would like to propose that we do retain the existing scheme as it stands for the 17/18 year. We will have to review it again next year.”

Councils were able to set up their own council tax support schemes in 2013, but it came with a ten per cent reduction in government funding.

Mr Dunn said continuing to provide full council tax relief would cost in excess of £540,000.

A public consultation was held to gauge opinion on the £5 charge.

Cabinet members expressed disappointment that only 17 Adur residents responded. They requested the council’s scrutiny committee to look into ways of improving engagement.

The joint strategic committee meeting on Tuesday, where both Adur and Worthing cabinet members met, was faced with a series of public questions on the scheme.

Most of the questioners travelled from Worthing to urge their councillors to scrap their £5 charge. Luke Angel, of Park Crescent, Worthing, said: “Why is this scheme disingenuously named ‘support’ when it involves taxing the poorest members of society?”