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Borough approves lowest council tax rise in the county

Thursday, 25th February 2010.

The lowest council tax rise in Suffolk was confirmed by a meeting of St Edmundsbury’s full council last night.

The rise of 1.9 per cent is lower than the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) level of inflation (2.9 per cent) and Retail Price Index (RPI) at 2.4 per cent.

It is the equivalent of a 6.3p a week for a band D property, and for band B – the largest single group of households – it will be a rise of 4.9p a week. It follows a council tax freeze last year.

The borough council's element only forms a relatively small part of the overall council tax charge, 75 per cent of which is fixed by Suffolk County Council.

The meeting approved the budget for 2010/2011, including investments which will help to protect essential services and invest in the borough's future prosperity.

Among the activities planned for the next financial year are: nearly £9 million on a range of projects, such as Haverhill Community Football scheme, public realm works in Bury and Haverhill town centres, disabled facilities grants and home improvement grants for residents on low incomes, and grants to help improve village halls and play areas; opening of The Apex venue in Bury St Edmunds, providing a major boost to the area's cultural heritage; implementing an Economic Action Plan to encourage and promote local prosperity; and developing master plans to guide the future shape of the borough's towns and rural areas.

St Edmundsbury has saved £1.9m from its budget over the past two years and is set to shave a further £2.2m in the next two years.

It is also looking to cut costs by sharing some services with neighbouring Forest Heath District Council. Savings include not replacing a corporate director and some other staff when they leave, improved purchasing, additional efficiency savings from moving into West Suffolk House and increased income generation.

Haverhill Online News

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