Published on 14th August 2012

A list with checkboxes

Cheltenham Borough Council, and all the other local authorities in Gloucestershire, are asking residents for their views on a new locally-determined Council Tax benefit scheme.

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, which will come into force in April 2013. 

Local councils will continue to administer the scheme, although funds provided by central government 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 the money to cover 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 benefits in 2013/14.

Councillor John Rawson said: “The challenge we face is to make up the loss of government funding while as far as possible, not penalising the poorest and most vulnerable section of our society by slashing their benefits. It is important that Gloucestershire councils work together to find a common solution if they can, and equally important that they should take into account the views of local people.”

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 from the council's website or requested from the Council by calling 01242 264196.

For media enquiries, contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email