Council Tax message 2019-20 from Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Council

Councillor Susan Brown

This has been another year of financial challenge for Oxford City Council. For the first time this year, 2019/20 we will receive no Revenue Support Grant from the Government, and so, in a time of considerable financial uncertainty, we must continue to find new ways to maintain our income and by doing so, protect your services.

Our fully balanced budget will see the average Band D Council Tax figure (excluding parish precepts) of £307.80, a 2.99 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of £298.86. Including parish precepts, the figure is £313.54, a 3.21 per cent increase, or about 19p a week. The City Council’s precept and Council Tax requirement is £14,201,686.00 including parish precepts.

Oxfordshire County Council's precept figure for 2019/20 is £66,529,920.44 giving a Band D Council Tax of £1,468.83, a 2.99 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of £1,426.19.

The Police and Crime Commissioner precept for 2019/20 is £9,343,349.46, giving a Band D Council Tax of £206.28, a 13.2 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of £182.28.

This means an overall average Band D equivalent Council Tax of £1,988.65, including Parish, County Council, and Police and Crime Commissioner precepts.

Whilst Oxford City Council collects these charges on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council and the Police Commissioner as part of your Council Tax bill, we do not have control over the total.

We work hard to make sure that we provide our services efficiently. By finding ways to increase our income, we can avoid cuts to services or the need to make compulsory redundancies.

Our in-house trading company, Oxford Direct Services was launched last April as a commercial trading company, though it remains wholly owned by the Council. It continues to extend its commercial operations, generating additional income for the Council to use for the benefit of the city and creating more jobs for local people.

The Council will deliver much needed social housing for the city over the next few years. Already this year we have seen the first tenants move in to brand new affordable housing in the Barton Park development, with others soon to follow. Further social housing developments are in the pipeline.

We are continuing to invest in regeneration projects, not only in Barton Park, but also at Oxpens and Blackbird Leys. Other commitments in the Budget include:

  • continuing our fully funded Council Tax Reduction Scheme for those on low incomes
  • additional promotion of the Oxford Living Wage to local businesses and other organisations, as well as paying it to our own workforce
  • an accessibility app to make the city easier to negotiate for people with a disability
  • additional funding of £200,000 a year towards homelessness
  • leisure services made available for free for people we are helping out of homelessness
  • reviewing all methods available to us to build more housing, particularly genuinely affordable housing for our citizens, to help address the city’s housing shortage
  • no increase in park and ride charges
  • provision of a crèche at Ferry Leisure Centre
  • drinking fountains provided in city parks to help reduce plastic waste and support the city Refill campaign.

If you have and queries please contact us.