East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) is asking residents for their views on proposals for next year’s Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme.

People on low incomes can claim CTS to help them pay their Council Tax bills. Changes to the scheme could affect everyone in the district, so ENC is carrying out a public consultation for residents to have their say. The consultation runs for four weeks from 24 October to 21 November 2016.

Right now, the maximum amount of support available to working age households in East Northamptonshire is 80%, which means that every working age household has to pay at least 20% of their Council Tax bill. Proposals include keeping the current minimum payment of 20% and four further changes that would bring the CTS scheme in line with the nationally designed Housing Benefit and Universal Credit schemes.

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North said: “As part of this annual review we have looked carefully at the Local Council Tax Support Scheme and identified some proposals which continue to provide a fair level of support to those residents who are on a low income. We’re pleased to be able to offer keeping the current minimum payment of 20% as we know that there are people in our district who need this level of support.

I would encourage all residents to visit the consultation pages on the council’s website and have their say on this important issue that will help shape the most effective and fairest system for all residents of East Northamptonshire.

None of the proposed changes will affect pensioners, who will still be entitled to claim up to 100% support on their Council Tax bill (pension age households receive help under a national scheme).

In East Northamptonshire, Council Tax money is split four ways with 72% going to Northamptonshire County Council, 14% going to the police, 6% going to the town and parish councils and 8% going to ENC.

Once the consultation has closed, a final decision on the scheme will be made by council early next year.

Find out more and have your say:

· online at www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/ctax2017 – remember if you don’t have internet access, you can use the computers available at our offices listed below to complete the survey or you can use a PC at your local library

· by completing a paper copy of the survey from ENC offices in Thrapston (8.45am-5pm), Rushden (9am-4.30pm) and Oundle (10am-1pm) or Irthlingborough Library (Wed 10am-1pm), Raunds Library (Thurs 10am-noon).