Some of the most vulnerable members of the community are set to receive ongoing assistance, after Cabinet members last night agreed to extend the council’s Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme for another year.
If approved by Full Council early next month, the decision would see one of the most generous schemes of its kind in the county continue to provide a reduction in council tax liability for eligible residents who need additional financial support.
It means the LCTS scheme – which currently helps 9,500 residents reduce their council tax bill and provides around £8.9m of support – would remain the same for 2022/23 despite the council facing continuing fiscal pressures due to the Covid pandemic.
The 2022-23 LCTS scheme, which has already been considered by the council’s Scrutiny Panel, would come into effect on 1 April 2022.
Councillor Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “We remain committed to supporting the most vulnerable members of our community during what continues to be, for so many, an extremely challenging time – and beyond. We could have reduced the scheme, to save money, but instead we have done the right thing, because of the adverse effect ending it would have on those who need our assistance.
“Our Local Council Tax Support scheme reduces the costs for 9,500 of our most deserving and vulnerable residents, helping to limit hardship and tackle inequality, and it is great that, with the continuing support of councillors from across the political spectrum, we can continue to help so many despite the economic climate.”
The LCTS scheme forms part of a wider package of award-winning council support, which includes flexible payment plans, welfare benefit, debt, and employment advice, as well as administration of an exceptional hardship fund.