Haverhill Town Council agrees to council tax freeze
Haverhill Town Council has agreed not to increase its portion of the council tax bill for the coming year amid fears some of the free events it lays on could end up in jeopardy.
Councillors unanimously approved the town council’s budget and precept for 2013/14 when they held a full meeting on Tuesday (February 26).
Although councillors agreed to approve the ‘standstill’ budget, which means a 0 per cent rise on its part of council tax bills, they acknowledged the risk to future services and activities.
Town clerk Will Austin told councillors that changes being introduced by the Government mean that the number of dwellings used for calculating the 2013/14 tax precept in Haverhill will drop from 8,120 to 6,924.
This would amount to loss of income to the town council of £128,933, and although the Government has brought in a special grant to cover the loss of income for this financial year, what will happen next year remains unclear.
Mr Austin said: “We are going to have to look very seriously either at the way we are making savings or cutting into the services we provide.
“The kind of community activities we undertake, you may have to consider withdrawing.
“We may find ourselves having to make some difficult decisions this time next year.”
Cllr Gary Stroud said: “As a group we discussed this and while we support it we echo your concerns that this could possibly cost us in the region of £129,000.
“Perhaps now is the time that may be we put out an appeal to local businesses.
“We don’t want to lose what we put out or give to the people of Haverhill and perhaps local businesses could come forward and offer us some form of local sponsorship.”
Cllr Pat Hanlon added: “With this current climate it looks like more and more people are going to look for free events, this is why we need to look at raising money from other places.”
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Weather for Haverhill
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North