TENSIONS are rising in South Ayrshire over council tax increases.
The Scottish Government has agreed to a rise on higher council tax bands outwith the hands of councils.

However, South Ayrshire Council has the ability to further increase the tax - by up to 3 percent following the end of the decade long council tax freeze. 

The Scottish Government recently announced plans to raise council tax for those living in the most expensive property band, H, by an average of £517 a year.

Overall, those in council tax bands E-H will pay between £2 and £10 more per week under the plans, with additional tax raised (£100m a year) to be spent on education, according to the First Minister.

But there are concerns by those living in areas deemed to be in a higher council tax band but are on lower incomes and an increase of several hundred pounds a year is worrying.

The issue was addressed at a public meeting at Doonfoot Primary School recently.

Donald Wilson said: “Why is it only those who live in Alloway and Doonfoot being disadvantaged by this rise. Why are Bands A,B,C and D not facing an increase?”

Cllr Kirsty Darwent said: “This was a decision made by the Scottish Government.”

It was implied that South Ayrshire Council was following orders from Holyrood and power is being taken away from local democracy. 
It will affect all of the country and not just South Ayrshire.

Mr Wilson continued: “Just because because we have bigger homes does not mean we have more money. 

“We should ask John Scott if he was for this decision or against it.”
The average annual increase in council tax as a result of the band adjustments will be: Band E - £105, Band F - £207, Band G - £335 and Band H - £517.

It will take affect from April this year.