Every year local councils have to take a look at their existing Council Tax Reduction scheme and make a decision whether to replace or revise it. The scheme enables residents to apply for a Council Tax reduction.
This year South Hams District Council has decided that they need to make changes to their Council Tax Reduction Scheme because the government has made changes to Housing Benefit and brought in Universal Credit.
All the Devon authorities are proposing the same changes to their schemes starting in 2017, but before they can make any changes they must consult residents.
Councillor Hilary Bastone, Portfolio Holder for Customer First, said: “By approving the need to make changes to our Council Tax Reduction Scheme we are paving the way for a Devon wide consultation. It is really important for anyone who is likely to make a claim, to know that the changes might be coming, so they can have their say during the consultation.
“Follow us on social media and look out in the local press for more information, we will let you know as and when the consultation opens.”
The consultation will ask those of working age who currently receive Council Tax reduction, or wish to apply for a reduction, to comment on the proposed changes.
This week, South Hams District Council’s Executive were asked to approve the draft proposals and pave the way for a consultation.
If the draft scheme is approved by all authorities then the aim is to complete a Devon wide public consultation with all other authorities at the same time. This consultation is likely to take place between late June and September 2016.
Once the outcome of the consultation is known the results will be analysed and the results presented to Councillors, for a final decision on the 2017/18 scheme.