Rugby residents are facing a three per cent rise in the borough’s share of council tax from April after the ruling Conservative group’s budget proposals went through unopposed.
It means that those living in Band D properties will pay an extra £4.19 into the council’s coffers each year although their final tax bill hike is set to be much higher due to above inflation increases imposed by Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire County Council.
In proposing the increase, council leader Cllr Michael Stokes (Con Admirals and Cawston) said those living in the district would see the same high level of services.
He added: “Residents will see investment in our borough, in our town centre, in our parks and open spaces and for the good of the environment.”
Cllr Stokes explained that £150,000 in business rates taken from Elliott’s Field and Technology Park retail parks four years ago had been ring-fenced as a Town Centre Investment Fund and he highlighted four areas where that cash would now be spent.
The biggest slice of £60,000 will cover the cost of making all borough council-owned car parks in Rugby free from 6pm and all weekend with £40,000 going towards employing an officer who will work with rough sleepers to help them into permanent accommodation.
The installation of electric charging points and funding for the St Andrews Garden Project will take up the remainder of the other funds.
In addition, a further £80,000 will be spent on improving disability access to the council chamber and installing audio visual equipment to broadcast meetings.
Cllr Stokes added: “Homelessness and rough sleeping is an ongoing issue that Rugby Borough Council has worked tirelessly on and invested heavily into tackling.
“Rugby often leads the way with initiatives and we do not want to lose momentum in tackling these complex issues that often affect some of the most vulnerable people in our borough.
Therefore we are investing £40,000 for a dedicated officer who will supplement the existing team and range of services and further enable specialist support, especially for rough sleepers.”
All 20 Conservative councillors voted to accept the proposals and while there were no votes against it, there were 15 - the Liberal Democrats and Labour councillors - who abstained.