|Stroud District Council's Ebley Mill viewed from side|
Stroud District Council, and all the other local authorities in Gloucestershire, are asking residents for their views on a new locally-determined Council Tax Support scheme which would come into force in April 2013. As part of the Government's welfare reforms the current Council Tax Benefit scheme will come to an end but will be replaced by a local scheme, called the Council Tax Support scheme.
Local councils will continue to administer the benefit, although funds provided by central government for the new scheme will be reduced by around 10 per cent compared with the amount available now. All the district councils in the county, Gloucestershire County Council and the Police Authority are working together to ensure that benefits provided will continue to protect all claimants in 2013/14.
To do so, the councils will need to find money to offset the 10 per cent reduction in funding. The public consultation focuses on seeking views on a range of options to reduce the cost of the scheme from 2014 onwards but is proposing that there is no reduction in 2013/14.
Councillor Geoff Wheeler, Leader of Stroud District Council, said: "Whilst Government funding is being cut, we are determined to minimise the impact on people who really depend on this benefit. Our immediate priority is to ensure that we protect them and decide how we run the scheme in the long term. . We want as many people to contribute to the consultation as possible so that we can arrive at the fairest solution for our local population. "
The county wide consultation takes place between Friday 10th August and Friday 5th October 2012 and is open to residents and other interested groups. A telephone survey of 300 residents in each district will also take place. The survey form can be downloaded at www.stroud.gov.uk/consult or requested from the council by calling 01453 766321.