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Council tax 2017/18: Borough council increase less than 9p a week

The majority of households will have to pay less than 9p a week more towards the borough's share of their council tax.

Boston Borough Council agreed on Monday night that the coming year's council tax should increase by 2.86 per cent.

It represents a 9p a week increase for the average band D property, but 89 per cent of properties are rated below this and will pay less.

Just two councillors voted against the increase, one abstained and 22 voted in favour.

The borough council is the collecting authority but the bulk of the total council tax collected is retained by Lincolnshire County Council and the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Boston town ward residents also pay a special rate to Boston Town Area Committee and those living in the villages pay a parish council rate.

Cllr Aaron Spencer, the council's finance portfolio holder, said he was pleased with the council's financial position, "but we shouldn't take our foot off the pedal now".

Cllr Paul Gleeson said some aspects were out of the council's control and  this budget compared with seven to 11 years ago showed there was half the money available to provide services for the whole of the borough.

He also pointed out that half the money the council has goes to the internal drainage boards and said central Government should fund drainage across the country instead of putting the burden on areas where there are internal drainage boards.

Cllr Richard Austin said the drainage board precept was now running at £1.8 million a year and rising and the council had no control over this amount, but drainage and protection from flooding is of "crucial importance" but not taken into account by Government.

Leader of the council, Cllr Peter Bedford, said no opportunity was missed to make the case for increased funding for Boston to ministers.

He said there had been meetings with the drainage boards, "but it's difficult. They have a job and tell us do we want wet feet or dry feet."

Cllr Spencer said he had heard a rumour that council tax bills had been printed prior to the meeting. "I spoke to the finance department about this and was told categorically that is not the case."

The county council is increasing its part of the council tax bill by 3.95 per cent. The rise consists of a 1.95 per cent increase, plus a further two per cent specifically for adult social care.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner plans a 1.97 per cent increase.