Districts do far more than just collect council tax

By Ian Miller | 11 April 2017

District and county councils have important but distinct roles. They will be most effective where they work positively together. The most important strategic responsibilities of districts include being planning and housing authorities, preparing local development plans, processing the vast majority of planning applications and tackling homelessness.

One of our other strategic responsibilities – often overlooked – is administering welfare and benefits. As billing authorities, districts devise their own schemes of support to reduce council tax for poorer, working age people. This replaced the national scheme of council tax benefit in 2013, an early example of a real transfer of responsibility from central to local government. The Government has now tasked district councils to design local schemes to support businesses facing rates increases following the revaluation.

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