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City Mayor council tax letter

Letter addressed to all residents, March 2023.

Dear Resident,

With this letter you will find your council tax bill for 2023/24.

Council tax helps pay for essential services provided by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Combined Fire Authority.

The amount of council tax we can charge is controlled by the Government, which expects tax rises to be made when it decides how much grant to pay us.

Leicester City Council will be increasing its tax this year by 5%, 2% of which is to support social care. The Combined Fire Authority is increasing its share of tax by 6.7%, and the Police and Crime Commissioner is increasing his share by 5.8%. This means total tax will increase by 5.2%.

Setting our budget is very difficult. The amount of money we have to spend is limited by the Government and our financial outlook is very severe for a number of reasons:

  1. a decade of austerity between 2010 and 2020, in which spending on services other than social care had to be reduced by 50% after inflation. This has made it much harder to make more savings now;
  2. the COVID-19 pandemic, during which we set stop gap budgets whilst we dealt with the immediate emergency and had to postpone looking for savings;
  3. the recent spike in inflation, which has increased costs for employees’ pay and energy;
  4. increasing costs of social care, particularly as more people grow older and need support;
  5. a new round of austerity which the Government has announced, that will lead to more cuts to our funding in years to come.

We have been able to set this budget after making savings and by using our reserves. We know we will need to make more savings and that these will be painful.

I know that rising living costs are making it very hard to make ends meet. We offer help with ways to pay your council tax and with how much you have to pay. Every year we help thousands of households across Leicester in this way. If you are currently receiving council tax support, an additional reduction of up to £25 per property has been made to this year’s bill. There is more information about discounts and support on the back of your bill or online at leicester.gov.uk/counciltax. You can also find information about cost of living support at leicester.gov.uk/benefits.

If you are worried that you might struggle to pay your council tax, please contact the council tax team as soon as possible. You can email council.tax@leicester.gov.uk or telephone 0116 454 1005. Please quote your council tax reference number in the subject line if you send an email.

Yours faithfully, 

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor