Views are still being sought on proposed changes to Local Council Tax Reduction Schemes (LCTRS) in Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire, through a consultation questionnaire which opened on 2 November and must be completed by 13 December.
The schemes provide a reduction for working-age people and households on low incomes, to help them pay their council tax bill. Currently there are individual schemes in place for Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire, which are administered by the councils in each area.
Each council offers a different level of support through their LCTRS scheme, but on 1 April 2021, there will be one new council for West Northamptonshire, replacing Northamptonshire County Council, Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council and South Northamptonshire Council.
The formation of this new unitary Council means that the three existing schemes need to be brought together into one consistent scheme effective from 1 April 2021, which offers the same level of Council Tax support, regardless of where a resident lives in the West Northamptonshire area.
Currently, the minimum council tax contribution that working age people must pay ranges from 8.5% to 31% across the three councils. One proposal to bring the schemes together is for the minimum contribution to be set at 26.5%, meaning a maximum discount of 73.5% would be offered through the new scheme.
This proposal would see greater support given to the majority of working age claimants. A minority would receive less support than under the current schemes.
This proposal would also make the scheme broadly cost neutral to the new authority and place no additional cost on the wider taxpayer. There are another five proposals outlined in the consultation document.
Those of pensionable age are protected by the prescribed regulations set out by central Government therefore will not be affected by the changes proposed to the LCTRS in West Northamptonshire, and will continue to receive the same level of support that they have been used to getting from their current council.
Full details about the scheme, how the proposals were developed, and the other options considered, along with the online consultation questionnaire, are available online:
The final scheme will be agreed by the West Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee on 5 January 2021. All responses are anonymous, and participants are not required to submit their name or address.