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North West Leicestershire District Council Council Tax Guide 2014 - 2015

Delivering Value for Money


Contents

1

Welcome

3

2

Your Council Tax explained

4

3

Council Tax Support Scheme

5

4

How to pay

5

5

Discounts and exemptions

6

6

Financial information

10

7

Other agencies

16

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Welcome

Welcome to the North West Leicestershire Council Tax Guide for 2014/15. This guide will help you to understand how we collect your Council Tax and how we use this money carefully to provide quality services and investment in the district.

5TH YEAR

0% INCREASE in Council Tax

One of our key priorities is to provide value for money for our residents and this year we have worked hard to freeze our portion of your Council Tax for the fifth year running. Although North West Leicestershire District Council collects your Council Tax, it only retains a certain portion of it to spend on services. Your bill shows how much of it is spent by the District Council and how much is distributed to Parish Councils, Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner and Leicestershire Fire Authority. This year, the District Council is fortunate to be in a strong financial position – a result of good planning, increased income from recycling and planning and strong control of our budgets. We have a planned programme of investment to improve customer access to our services, increasing affordable housing, creating a fund to support businesses, empowering community groups and also improving our shopping centres. For more information on all North West Leicestershire District Council services, please visit www.nwleics.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter @nwleicestershir

Christine E Fisher Chief Executive North West Leicestershire District Council

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Your Council Tax Explained

2

Council Tax is a local tax used to fund local services. Council, Police and Fire services are paid for with income from the tax, together with income from Government grants and other charges. Owner occupiers usually have to pay their Council Tax bill. Where homes are rented, the tenants will have to pay. In the case of empty homes, it is normally the owner who has to pay. The owners of the following properties also pay Council Tax: • •

Residential care homes, nursing homes and hostels, or Those occupied by: a) A minister of religion or a religious community b) More than one household c) Resident staff or asylum seekers.

North West Leicestershire District Council is the local authority responsible for collecting the Council Tax in this area. We keep less than 12% of this and pay the rest over to the County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Fire Authority and Parish and Town Councils.

2014/15 Budget Making sure we provide value for money in our services is more important than ever in the current economic climate, as the Government moves forward with its deficit reduction programme. The Government has reviewed the funding of local authorities and provided opportunities to reward business growth and increases in housing stock, but it is clear that the overall level of national funding will continue to fall. We are doing all we can to maximise our locally determined income including New Homes Bonus and Retained Business Rates. For 2014/15 our mainstream Government grant allocation was reduced by more than 12% compared with 2013/14. Through our medium term financial planning, we anticipated such a reduction and have continued to identify and make savings to meet overall expected funding reductions up to the end of 2017/18 at least. This has allowed us to freeze our portion of Council Tax again in 2014/15. We will continue our drive for efficiency, economy and effectiveness in everything we do and will also continue to regularly monitor income and expenditure and record efficiency savings made. Savings of £400,000 have been approved for 2014/15 and a further £300,000 is expected to be found in 2015/16. The council will update its four year Medium Term Financial Strategy in the summer in anticipation of further reductions in Government funding.

5TH YEAR 0% INCREASE IN COUNCIL TAX 4

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Council Tax valuation bands The Valuation Office Agency (not your local council) has allocated every property into one of eight ‘valuation bands’. Further details are available on the Valuation Office Agency website at www.voa.gov.uk.

Band

Range of values at 1 April 1991

Proportion of Band D tax payable

A

Up to and including £40,000

6/9

B

£40,001 to £52,000

7/9

C

£52,001 to £68,000

8/9

D

£68,001 to £88,000

9/9

E

£88,001 to £120,000

11/9

F

£120,001 to £160,000

13/9

G

£160,001 to £320,000

15/9

H

More than £320,000

18/9

Council Tax appeals If you do not agree with the band for your home and you wish to make an appeal, please contact the Listing Officer at: Leicester Valuation Office, Enkalon House, 92 Regent Road, Leicester, LE1 7DD Tel: 03000 501501/ Fax: 03000 505145 For further information regarding banding appeals see the Valuation Office website www.voa.gov.uk or go to our website www.nwleics.gov.uk/counciltax

Other appeals If you wish to appeal against any other matter regarding your Council Tax, please do so in writing to the Council Tax Billing Section. You can email the team at revenues@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or write to us at: F.A.O Council Tax Billing Team, The Leicestershire Partnership, PO Box 10004, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 9EJ. You should continue to pay your original Council Tax Demand Notice whilst your appeal is outstanding. In the event of an overpayment, the credit will be offset against any outstanding balance and the remainder refunded to you. w w w.nwleics.gov.uk

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3

Council Tax support scheme With effect from April 2013, ‘Council Tax Benefit’ was replaced by a local Council Tax Support Scheme. The Government reduced the amount of money local councils received to provide full discounts on Council Tax for working-age people. Therefore, if you are under state pension age you will now have to pay some of your Council Tax. In 2014/15, the amount working-age people (in receipt of maximum Council Tax Support) will have to pay is 15% of their Council Tax charge. It is important that you contact us as soon as you receive your Council Tax Demand Notice if you need help and advice on how to pay your charge. People of pensionable age who were in receipt of Council Tax Benefit are protected from these changes. You will continue to receive the same level of support that you would have done under the Council Tax Benefit rules. IMPORTANT NOTE: All changes in circumstances should be reported to the council within a month of the change occurring. Failure to do this will be dealt with as an act of fraud. You can ring us on 01530 454551, email us at benefits@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or write to us at F.A.O Benefits Team, The Leicestershire Partnership, PO Box 10004, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 9EJ.

People who are entitled to claim, or are already claiming Pension Credit will not have to pay more than they do now.

4

How to pay

Paying Council Tax over 12 months Council Tax installments can now be spread over 12 months instead of 10. Provided the request is received by the 15 April 2014, you can still take advantage of the full 12 months. If requests are received after this date, we can still spread the remaining payments to March 2015. Your written request for 12 monthly installments will automatically apply to the next financial year. If, however, you would prefer to revert back to paying over 10 months, please notify us in writing and we will amend our records. If you would like to pay your Council Tax over 12 months, please email your request detailing your name, full address and Council Tax reference number to: revenues@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or write to us at F.A.O Council Tax Billing Team, The Leicestershire Partnership, PO Box 10004, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 9EJ. Alternatively, please call Customer Services on 01530 454499. 6

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Do you currently pay your Council Tax or Business Rates by Direct Debit? Did you know that once a Direct Debit has been set up on your Council Tax or Business Rates account, there is no need to cancel it at the end of the financial year? Your payments will be automatically collected from your bank account on the dates shown on your Demand Notice. After your final 2014/15 installment has been collected, no further payments will be taken until the 2015/16 financial year commences and the first installment becomes due in April 2015. Should you wish to set up a Direct Debit instruction, simply call us on 01530 454499. Please have you bank account details and reference number to hand to allow us to set this up over the telephone.

Are you struggling financially? We are here to help! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax or Business Rates installments. We can help you by: • R  eferring you to a money advisor at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau • Referring you to our Benefits Team or Benefits Visiting Officers • Agreeing an alternative payment arrangement with you • Giving you advice about discounts, exemptions and reliefs. Don’t wait until you have lost your right to pay by installments. We will be able to help if you contact us at an early stage, before any recovery action is taken. You can call us on 01530 454499. Alternatively, email us at revenues@nwleicestershire.gov.uk

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5

Discounts and exemptions

Discounts Council Tax assumes there are at least two adults living in the home. If you live on your own, you are entitled to a 25% discount. If the property is a second home or is a house that is unoccupied but furnished, there is a 10% reduction in the charge. If an adult within the household falls into one of the following categories then a discount may apply: • F  ull time students, student nurses, apprentices, youth training trainees and foreign language assistants • 18/19 year olds who are at or have just left school or college • Patients resident in hospital or being looked after in care homes • Severely mentally impaired people • People in hostels or night shelters • Low paid care workers usually employed by charities • People caring for a person with a disability who is NOT a partner or child under 18 years old • Members of religious communities such as monks or nuns • People in detention (except for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine) • Members of visiting forces, certain international and defence organisations. Temporary absences owing to holiday or work will not normally result in discount entitlement. Local discounts – empty property Please note that due to changes to the legislation from 1 April 2013, the council has adopted a local discount scheme for: 1) Properties that are in need of, or undergoing major repair work or structural alteration - From 1 April 2013 these properties are entitled to a 50% discount from Council Tax for up to twelve months. 2) Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished - From 1 April 2013 these properties are entitled to a one month discount of 100%. New annexe discount – From 1 April 2014 annexes meeting certain criteria will be entitled to a 50% discount. To qualify for a discount, the annexe must be occupied by a relative of the person liable to pay Council Tax on the main home. If it is unoccupied the annexe must be being used as part of the main home. Please contact us for more details. If you wish to apply, we will send you an application form.

Disabled people A property band reduction in the charge may be applicable if you, or someone who lives with you, is disabled and use a wheelchair within the property or requires a room to meet their needs, or requires an extra bathroom / kitchen. Please contact the Council Tax Billing Team if you wish to apply.

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Exemptions Some properties may be exempt from Council Tax and the following is a broad description.

Class

Unoccupied properties

B D E

Owned by a charity Left empty by someone who has gone to prison Previously occupied by a person in permanent residential care

F

Waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted

G H

Empty because occupation is forbidden by law Waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion Left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care by reason of old age, disablement or illness Left empty by someone who has moved to provide personal care to another person Owned by a student and last occupied by a student Subject to a Repossession Order The responsibility of a bankrupt’s trustee A site for a caravan, mobile home or mooring Granny annexes or similar type of property

I J K L Q R T Class M/N

Entitlement Up to 6 months No charge No charge Up to 6 months after probate is granted No charge No charge No charge No charge No charge No charge No charge No charge No charge

Occupied properties All the residents are students

O

Used for UK armed forces accommodation

P

At least one liable person is a member of a visiting force

S

All residents are less than 18 years old

U

All residents are severely mentally impaired

V

At least one liable person is a foreign diplomat

W

It is annexed to a family home and occupied by that family’s elderly or disabled relatives

If you think you may be entitled to a discount or may be exempt, please contact the Council Tax Billing Team on 01530 454499. If you receive a discount / exemption then you must tell the Council Tax Billing Team within 21 days of any change of circumstances which affects your entitlement. Failure to do so may lead to a penalty charge. If the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished after any exemption expires then it will attract a 100% Council Tax charge.

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Financial information

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All financial information was previously enclosed with your Demand Notice. Below you will find information about the council’s budget requirement and expenditure. If you would like a hard copy of this information, please contact the Customer Services Team on 01530 454499.

Local Parish precepts 2013/14 Precept £

Parish

Effect on a Band D Property £

13,335.77 313,854.72 78,804.00 0.00

APPLEBY MAGNA ASHBY DE LA ZOUCH ASHBY WOULDS BARDON

13,562.00 327,906.00 81,681.00 0.00

32.29 70.96 76.48 0.00

13,622.86 11,937.50 153,981.52 3,067.43 0.00 0.00 13,281.66 46,806.00 10,274.73 23,447.95 112,367.50 367.74 87,411.00 7,722.06 29,331.72 89,738.71 0.00 39,200.36 3,750.63 19,000.00 42,585.14 6,125.62 100.00 0.00 18,000.00 5,086.60 28,080.00 8,237.01

BELTON BREEDON-ON-THE-HILL CASTLE DONINGTON CHARLEY CHILCOTE COALVILLE COLEORTON ELLISTOWN & BATTLEFLAT HEATHER HUGGLESCOTE & DONINGTON LE HEATH IBSTOCK ISLEY WALTON-CUM-LANGLEY KEGWORTH LOCKINGTON cum HEMINGTON LONG WHATTON and DISEWORTH MEASHAM NORMANTON-LE-HEATH OAKTHORPE, DONISTHORPE and ACRESFORD OSGATHORPE PACKINGTON RAVENSTONE SNARESTONE STAUNTON HAROLD STRETTON-EN-LE-FIELD SWANNINGTON SWEPSTONE WHITWICK WORTHINGTON

13,213.00 14,000.00 243,578.00 3,818.00 0.00 0.00 13,815.00 58,234.00 10,444.00 24,385.00 130,381.00 368.00 92,081.00 6,904.00 35,000.00 94,570.00 0.00 40,989.00 3,793.00 19,000.00 48,693.00 6,176.00 100.00 0.00 15,878.00 5,370.00 29,048.00 9,000.00

45.72 36.08 111.48 49.58 0.00 0.00 26.67 76.52 33.91 19.73 73.00 13.63 81.85 29.01 48.08 64.77 0.00 53.72 21.19 54.60 65.62 50.21 1.64 0.00 36.93 21.31 11.09 16.92

TOTALS 1,341.987.00

1,179,518.23

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2014/15 Precept £

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Additional financial information - Local Parish precepts of £140,000 or more £

Castle Donington Parish Council The Parish Rooms, Hillside, Castle Donington Derby DE74 2NH Tel: (01332) 810432

For all services administered

2013/14

* Rolling Programme Reserves are monies received under the Market Rights for Donington Park, and Section 106 payments. It is generally used towards the implementation of “capital type programmes”.

£ 2014/15

223,797

Estimated Gross Expenditure

309,606

80,493

Allocated Expenditure - Rolling Programme*

56,810

-29,920

Less income to offset

-32,580

-200

Less interest

-200

-27,357

Less from Reserves / Balances

-28,531

-80,493

Less from Rolling Programme Reserves*

-56,810

166,320

Gross Budget Requirement

248,295

12,338 153,982

Less Council Tax Support Grant

4,717

Precept requested

243,578

2,082

Council Tax Base of Parish

2,185

£73.96

Precept for a Band D property

£111.47

Photo: Castle Donington

Donington Parish Council’s estimated gross expenditure has risen from last year due to inflationary costs, additional responsibilities, services it has provided and services it is going to provide i.e. new open spaces, play area etc. Also, the intention is to consider taking on various devolved services, such as the local library service and public car parks. The amount of money received through the Market Charter has also decreased due to changes in the market climate and peoples shopping patterns; this has a major effect on the amount of additional money that is available to undertake capital projects going forward. With the changes to the Council Tax Support Grant scheme the Parish Council considered very carefully the effect this would have on the Band D properties against the need to budget for the responsibilities and services it provides for the residents of Castle Donington.

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Additional financial information - Local Parish precepts of £140,000 or more £ Ashby-de-la-Zouch Town Council Legion House South Street Ashby-de-la-Zouch Leics LE65 1BQ Tel: (01530) 416961 info@ashbytowncouncil.org.uk www.ashbytowncouncil.org.uk

For all services administered

2013/14

£

Effect on a Band D property

2014/15

444,250

Estimated Gross Expenditure

426,579

£92.31

-130,395

Less income to offset

-98,673

-£21.35

0

Less interest

0

£0.00

0

Less from reserves / balances

0

£0.00

313,855

Budget Requirement (Precept)

327,906

£70.96

4,512

Council Tax Base of Parish

4,621

£69.56

Precept for a Band D property

£70.96

Estimated gross expenditure is budgeted to decrease compared to 2013/14 due to a reduction in the building improvement programme for Legion House and contracting out some services. However, the costs of the Ashby-dela-ZouchTown Council have continued to rise, largely in line with the Consumer Price Index, at around 3% per year. The Town Council has reluctantly increased the precept level on a Band D property for the first time in four years. The increase is 3p per week which is the equivalent of 2%. Photo: Ashby-de-la-Zouch

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Council Tax 2014/15 Although there have been significant changes in the level of Income and Expenditure, for the fifth year running there is no increase in the district element of the Council Tax 2013/2014 £’000

For Services Administered by the District Council

55,553 (20,622) (25,477) 1,175 58 118 360

ESTIMATED GROSS EXPENDITURE Less Specific Grants Less Other Income Net Financing Costs Addition to Balances Localisation of Council Tax Support - Parish Contingency Provision

11,165

BUDGET REQUIREMENT

64,890 (20,786) (34,671) 1,149 403 87 160

Effect on a Band D Property £ p 2231.91 (714.93) (1,192.50) 39.50 13.87 2.98 5.50

11,232

386.33

11,165

384.01 19.11 (22.75) (4.66) 12.00 (0.30) -1.08 0.00 386.33 23.58 362.75 386.33 362.75 23.58 49.14 (119.69) (22.72) (8.70) (48.00) 0.00 (5.06) 231.30 (23.58) (49.14) 158.58

2014/2015 £’000

Reasons for the change in amount 11,186

2013/ 2014 Budget Requirement was For 2014 / 2015 changes are required:

1,091 (761) (104) -432 -9 194 0 11,165 675 10,490 11,165 10,490 675 1,298 (4,309) (656) (56) (923) (20) (17) 6,482 (675) (1,298) 4,509

Cost pressures Efficiency/Budget Savings change in fee income change in use of reserves / balances One off expenditure falling out Council Tax Benefit Changes revenue contributions to capital 2013 / 2014 Budget Requirement

District Requirement Special Expenses Parish Precepts Less Distributed National Non-Domestic Rates Localisation of Council Tax Support Grant Less Council Tax Reduction Grants Less New Homes Bonus CouncilTax Transitional grant Transfers (from) / to Collection Funds Net District Council Requirement for Council Tax Less: Special Expenses Less: Parish Precepts Net District Council Requirement for Council Tax

556 (661) (136) 349 (9) (32) 0 11,232 686 10,546 11,232 10,546 686 1,429 (3,480) (661) (253) (1,395) 0 (147) 6,725 (686) (1,429) 4,610

30,222

Leicestershire County Council Precept

30,906

1,063.00

1,660 4,943

Combined Fire Authority Precept Leicestershire Police Authority Precept

1,723 5,055

59.25 176.48

Special Expenses Areas only District Requirement

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Council budget New Homes Bonus

Localisation of Council Tax Support Grant

£1.395m

£0.756m

FUNDING

Use of reserves

£0.006m

Council Tax freeze

£0.056m

0.50%

12.43%

6.73% 0.05%

Funding 2014/15 Total = £11.232m

Council Tax

47.56%

£5.342m

32.74%

Formula Grant

£3.677m

HOW WE SPEND OUR BUDGET

Non Distributed and Other Costs

Housing Services - General Fund

Corporate Management, Civic and Member Services

£0.613m

£0.831m 7.40% 5.46%

Council Tax Collection and Benefit Admin, Elections

£0.790m

7.03%

£1.142m

10.17%

Budget 2014/15 Total = £11.232m 69.94%

Waste, Environmental, Street Action, Cultural and Leisure Services

14

£7.856m


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Other agencies

7 Flood defence

The County Council pays flood defence levies to the Midland and Anglian Regions of the Environment Agency.

2013/14 £000

2014/15 £000

Midland

229

229

Anglian

44

46

Total

273

275

The total levy for the Midland region in 2014/15 is £3 million. The total levy for the relevant part of the Anglian region in 2014/15 is £1.7 million.

Leicestershire and Rutland Combined Fire Authority http://www.leicestershire-fire.gov.uk/fire-and-rescue-service/corporate-documents/ council-tax-booklets?download=1435:council-tax-booklet-2014

Leicestershire County Council http://www.leics.gov.uk/budget

Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner http://www.leics.pcc.police.uk/Document-Library/Planning-and-Money/Council-TaxInformation-Leaflet-2014-2015.pdf

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Council tax leaflet 2014 final  
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