Oldham Council's Cabinet has approved the lowest Council Tax increase of any council in Greater Manchester.
At a Budget Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 23 February, cabinet members approved a proposed 2.99% Council Tax increase for Oldham residents.
This means people who live in Band A properties – the majority of Oldham’s housing stock – will see a rise of just £2.78 a month to their bills, before Parish Council and Mayoral precepts are added.
At the same meeting, Cabinet members also agreed on savings of £8.920m for 2021/22, and reduction targets of £31.900m for 2022/23 and £21.849m for 2023/24, as part of the council's Medium Term Financial Strategy. This Budget will now go before Full Council next month.
Councillor Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet member for Finance and Green said: “This past year has been a real challenge for the council’s finances. The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that balancing the resources we have available with demands for spending has never been more difficult.
“We understand that many Oldham residents are also facing a challenge to balance their own budgets. This is why we have limited our Council Tax increase to 2.99% because we know that even a small increase can make a big impact on people’s lives.
“These decisions are not taken lightly, but they are necessary to ensure we can keep supporting Oldham’s residents.
“Despite the challenges we face we will continue to strive toward an inclusive economy for Oldham – a place where everyone has a fair and real chance to improve their own lives.”
This is the smallest proposed increase in Council Tax of any council in Greater Manchester, and comes at a time when the council is facing significant financial pressures.
While Council Tax could be increased by up to 5.0% without the need for a public referendum, councillors have recognised the financial strain many Oldham residents face and have taken the decision to not do this.
With the increase approved by Cabinet, it will now go to full council on Thursday 4 March, where the budget for 2021/22 will also be formally approved.