Government figures released this week show people in Gloucestershire pay lower council tax than in almost any other shire county. The department of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s annual council tax figures, published on Wednesday, reveal Gloucestershire County Council has the third lowest council tax of any shire county in England, once the costs of Fire are included. The council is only £1.57 per year above the lowest – and the lowest in the South West region. The same figures show Tewkesbury borough council is the fifth lowest district in England, and Cotswold District council the eleventh lowest.
The three county councils with the lowest council tax bills all run their own fire services – as Gloucestershire does – underlying the efficiencies that the arrangement provides for taxpayers.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, commented:
“This shows, despite challenging national funding, that the county council is still delivering for local residents. It’s thanks to hard work finding ways to work smarter and more efficiently that we are able to have one of lowest tax levels of any county council, whilst still putting extra money into things like protecting vulnerable children and resurfacing county roads.”
Cllr Dave Norman, Cabinet Member for Fire, commented:
“The three most efficient county councils in the UK all run their own fire and rescue service. This just shows the real benefits that a joined up, county council-run, fire and rescue service offers to people in our county.”