Slough Borough Council to increase council tax by 9.99%

Image of a council tax bill

Slough Borough Council’s request to government to increase council tax by 9.99 percent in 2023/24, without a referendum, has been granted.

The council has made significant progress in addressing the well-documented financial challenges it faces and the financial recovery strategy has seen total asset sales of over £170m to date this financial year, with plans to raise this to £200m by the end of the year with a further £200m of sales being targeted in 2023/24.

In addition, very good progress has been made on balancing its previous overspend in the dedicated schools grant and in identifying sufficient proposals to balance its 2023/24 budget, among many other matters.

However, despite these further planned asset sales and savings, requesting a Council Tax increase of 9.99 per cent for 2023/24 was essential to support progress towards financial sustainability.

Even with this increase, the average Council Tax Band D in Slough is very likely to remain the third lowest among the seven neighbouring councils.

Support will be provided to those who will be most seriously impacted by this increase, with the current council tax support scheme changing to provide additional support for the more than 9,000 households currently in receipt and for anyone who makes a new application from April.

This scheme will have a maximum council tax reduction of 100 per cent, and it is estimated that some 3,500 (around 38 per cent) of the households with the lowest incomes and currently paying 20 per cent will not need to pay any council tax in 2023/24 should their circumstances remain the same. 

Councillor Rob Anderson, lead member for financial oversight and council assets, said: “Given the need to get the council back on a sound financial footing and with inflation over 10 per cent, this increase was unavoidable if we wanted to protect our services.

“We are not alone in this and a number of other authorities have done the same.

“As a result of this increase we will now bring forward a more generous Council Tax Support scheme to help protect those most in need.”

Published: 6 February 2023