Colchester City Council to simplify Local Council Tax Support Scheme

PUBLISHED: 24 January 2024

Colchester City Council will launch a simplified Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) from 1 April 2024, making it quicker and easier for residents to apply.

The Local Council Tax Support scheme is a discount to Council Tax bills for working age residents. Eligibility for the scheme depends on your household, income and savings. This scheme is one of the largest financial support mechanisms in place for Colchester residents on a low income.

The process is currently means-tested and includes a complicated assessment. For example, a resident in receipt of Universal Credit may currently see their Local Council Tax Support entitlement change several times a year, as any small change in Universal Credit award is accounted for within their Local Council Tax Support entitlement.

In a bid to support residents through the cost-of-living crisis, Colchester City Council will be moving to a more simplified process from April, with a faster approval process. The council will introduce a simplified ‘banded’ scheme, which will place a resident’s weekly income into a corresponding ‘band’ based on their household make-up.

The amount of support received will only change if a person’s income or household changes significantly to move them into a different band. This will make the scheme easier to understand for residents, give them more stability in their payment, and significantly reduce back-office admin for the council.

The new scheme will also introduce a ‘protected’ group, which means Colchester’s most vulnerable households will receive maximum support towards their Council Tax (80%).

Those currently in receipt of this support will not need to do anything to move to the new scheme – they will automatically be moved to the new process and be notified when this takes place in early-March 2024.

Cllr Mark Cory, Deputy Leader of Colchester City Council, said: “I am pleased that we are able to make these changes, and offer a simplified scheme to support residents across the city. The cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on people up and down the country, and it is our duty to provide simple access to vital support for Colchester residents.”

Residents can find out more about the scheme at

Page last reviewed: 24 January 2024


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