Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Stockton residents urged to find out more about changes to Council Tax benefit

Friday, August 10, 2012


Stockton Council is looking for residents' views to help develop a new 'Local Council Tax Support Scheme'.

It will replace the current 'Council Tax Benefit' scheme which the Government is due to abolish by next April.

Residents from across Stockton Borough are being encouraged to take part in a consultation to help shape the new Local Council Tax Support Scheme.

Between 13 August and 19 October people will have a chance to consider the Council's ideas.

The Government has stated pensioners must be protected under the new system so they will continue to receive the same levels of Council Tax support.

Similarly the current 25 per cent discount for single person households will remain unchanged.

However, the reduction in Government funding for Council Tax Support by at least 10 per cent does mean the Council needs to review who receives financial support.

Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "We absolutely recognise and acknowledge the Government's proposed changes to the Council Tax Benefit system and the impact the reduction in funding for the scheme will have on many people living across our Borough, especially those of working-age who may need to pay more. That's why we want to ensure our new Council Tax Support Scheme is shaped in consultation with our residents.

"I would like to encourage everyone to take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire which will soon be coming through letterboxes throughout the Borough and to let us know their views and suggestions at any of the drop-in events.

"We want to listen so we can make sure the new scheme is the best possible solution for our residents."

The Council will distribute a consultation document including a questionnaire to all households across the Borough from 24 August and is asking residents to complete the questionnaire to help inform the new system. Anyone who has not received a copy by 14 September should telephone (01642) 393829.

Residents are also invited to attend any of the following drop-in events to ask any questions, give views on the proposals and put forward any alternative suggestions:

11am –1pm, Monday 3 September – Yarm Youth and Community Centre

11am –1pm, Wednesday 12 September – New Life Family Centre, Billingham

4pm – 6pm, Wednesday 19 September – Stockton Central Library

11am –1pm, Wednesday 26 September – Thornaby Pavilion

4pm – 6pm, Monday 1 October – Beckfields Community Centre, Ingleby Barwick

A copy of the proposed Local Council Tax Support Scheme can be found at www.stockton.gov.uk/welfarereform along with other useful information.

People can also find out more or ask any questions by calling (01642) 393829.

The Council's Cabinet will meet on 29 November to review the consultation results and make final recommendations for the new scheme.

The full Council will then consider the recommendations at the end of January before the new scheme begins from 1 April 2013.