COUNCIL TAX has been raised across South Bucks.

South Bucks District Council decided on Tuesday to increase its council tax precept by an extra £5, (or 10p per week) for the average Band D property, representing a 3.27 per cent rise.

This means that the council will now charge Band D residents a total of £158 per year, on top of what they already pay to Bucks County Council.

The council explained that the dwindling funding that central government was providing to the authority - which is due to decline to nothing next year - was the core reason behind the rise.

In a statement it said: “Since 2015 the loss of Government grant to South Bucks District now totals £871,000, and in 2019-20, the council will be required to pay the Government £414,000, making the loss of resources nearly £1.3 million.”

A spokeswoman explained that as central Government considers South Bucks to be ‘well-financed’ and with ‘relatively low needs’ it must now hand over some of its own money to the Government, so it can be distributed among poorer boroughs.

From the 2019-20 financial year, the central Government funding for the council is to be cut entirely.

Leader of the council, Cllr Nick Naylor, said: “The council has responded positively to the financial challenges, and countered them by innovative savings such as the joint working with Chiltern, which has saved the two councils £1.9m per annum.

“This combined with careful scrutiny of our expenditure and income has enabled us to cope with the challenges the Government has given us.”

The council is hoping to generate extra income by setting up its own property company, the Consilio Property Company, that will invest in a range of commercial and residential properties with the aim of generating more income through rent payments.

Cllr Naylor said: “This seeks to provide a new income stream through investing in property assets in an balanced and sensible manner, so as not to expose the Council to financial or reputational risk.”