St Edmundsbury Council will not hike council tax

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council

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St Edmundsbury Council’s cabinet has proposed that the authority’s precept of council tax will be frozen for the fifth year in the last six when it meets on Tuesday (11).

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council, said: “I am delighted that we are able to be proposing to freeze our share of council tax yet again which means that residents will be paying the same as they did four years ago.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council

“To do this, while maintaining the quality services which St Edmundsbury provides, has not been at all easy, and the council continues to face further financial pressures and reductions in funding from Government.

“However, we have already proved that by working differently, we can deliver savings while protecting services for the people we serve.

“We will continue to look for innovative and cost effective ways to improve the quality of life, and value for money, for our residents.”

St Edmundsbury is considering a balanced budget despite its Government funding being cut by a further 23 per cent, making 48 per cent reduction over the next two years.

It has achieved £3.5m savings through sharing services with neighbouring Forest Heath District Council, and a further £417,000 local savings.

Savings have also been made by cutting a grant to each of the town and parish councils, with Haverhill Town Council likely to raise it’s share of the council tax precept to cover for the borough cut which amounts to £129,000 over four years, or otherwise risk being unable to stage the same volume of community events.

Cllr Griffiths added: “We have been mindful while preparing next year’s budget that tough times will be with us for some time.

“Our medium term financial strategy for the next two years, shared with Forest Heath, gives a framework for tackling the serious challenges yet to come, as the role of local government changes.”

St Edmundsbury’s full council will met on February 25 to set the 2014/15 budget.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 13) Echo.

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