'Someone’s got to pay for their bait and nice new offices while the rest of the city falls apart': What you said about Sunderland's 3.99% council tax rise
Sunderland Council's decision to increase council tax by 3.99% just a week after unveiling plans for a new civic centre have touched a raw nerve among the public.
Last night, Sunderland City Council’s Labour group rubber-stamped spending plans worth about £650million for the 2019-20 financial year.
This includes a 3.99% council tax hike and proposals to invest more than £100million in the city centre.
For the majority of households in Sunderland, who are in a ‘Band A’ property, the council tax rise will equate to an extra 70p a week, or £36.16 a year.
For a Band D property, households would see £1.04 per week, or £54.25, added to their annual bill.
Related: Council tax to rise for Sunderland residents as 2019/20 budget approvedThe news prompted hundreds of comments on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page. Here are just a few of them:
Adam Tivenan: "£2.76million to help Social Care and £41million over four years for a new civic centre. This council is a joke and has its priorities as always, in the wrong place."
Victoria Hill: "Why do we need a new civic centre? Yes, the old one isn’t the most attractive, but it’s functional, so why not use the money elsewhere? Why was cutting their allowances rejected? Why does our council tax have to go up when services were already reduced?"
Ashley Bingham: "I don't see much happening with the money I pay now. Charges still go up or are created from nowhere. The city is a mess, not somewhere people are proud of."
Gary Atkinson: "Everything happening in Sunderland, I see nothing again for Washington, Houghton and Hetton. What aa absolute embarrassment this council is."
Steven Jones: "They might of had their budget cut by the Conservatives, but Sunderland Council is still spending our council tax money in the wrong places."
Emma-Louise Poole: "They always appear to have money when it suits them. Yes, council budgets have been cut by central government, but why is there suddenly money for new civic centres, 20 odd million for the Museum and Winter Gardens but no money for things like the Alzheimer’s centre they want to close?"
Muriel Smith: "Council tax goes up and the council gives our money to subsidise a Spice Girls concert. It's a joke."
Michael Lamb: "The price rise includes a 1% levy for social care and they're closing down nurseries and care homes. Not right that."
Simon Pete Moss: "£41million for a new civic centre/public sector hub, yet only £300k for deep cleaning the city centre? That won't even scratch at the surface of all the street litter."
June Wintrip: "They cut services for us and put prices up, but they don’t cut their allowances. It is not right."
Craig Bresnen: "Absolute disgrace. Council tax goes up and up and as usual you get less for it."
Terry Scales: "Every council in the country is doing this. It's a shambles. We pay more and more in taxes and every year it's the same - cuts, cuts, cuts. We need a revolution."
Lewis Cowey: "Someone’s got to pay for their bait and nice new offices while the rest of the city falls apart."