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City Mayor council tax letter

Letter addressed to all residents, March 2021.

Dear Resident,

With this letter you will find your council tax bill for 2021/2022.

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

This has been a very challenging year and I am enormously impressed at how brilliantly our city has pulled together and supported each other.

Setting our budget has been particularly difficult:

  • We have had to spend a lot of money because of COVID-19. As yet, we do not know what the final bill will be.
  • This comes on top of big cuts to our budgets because of “austerity”. Our government grant in 2020 was over £100 million less than it was in 2010.
  • We expect the Government to make more cuts when the pandemic is over. We do not know how much these cuts will be.
  • As a result of COVID-19, we may need to change the way we provide some services, to better meet people’s needs.

For all these reasons, we have set a stopgap budget this year, where we will continue to provide the same money for the same services. This needs to be reviewed next year.

The exceptions will be additional hardship support to households in need and some extra funding for our public health service which has been so vital in combatting coronavirus.

We are also having to provide more care for elderly people and adults with complex disabilities, increasing budgets for adult social care by £10 million. Only £3 million of that cost is being met by the Government. Leicester has already had to face very big cuts to spending on basic services, such as street cleaning, libraries, children’s centres, parks, sports centres, museums and footpath maintenance.

For years, the Government has accepted the need to review the way social care is paid for. However, instead of doing so, they have again expected councils to increase taxes. As a result, like many large councils, Leicester will be increasing its tax this year by 5%. The Fire Authority is increasing its share of tax by 2%, and the Police and Crime Commissioner is increasing his share by 6.4%. This means total tax will increase by 5.1%.

Finally, my colleagues and I are now looking forward and will be working with you to get Leicester back to its best again – proud and self-confident about our future.

Yours faithfully, 

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor