Haverhill Town Council was almost unanimous in voting to increase its precept of council tax by 3.69 per cent last night (Tuesday, February 18).
The rise will work out as 7p per week for a Band D home in Haverhill – £3.98 per year.
The town council’s precept will rise from £107.77 to £111.75 per Band D home.
It comes after two years of no increases from the town council.
The rise is largely to mitigate for the withdrawel of the council tax support grant of £128,933, with is being phased out over four years by 25 per cent each year by St Edmundsbury Council.
The finance committee had recommended that town clerk Will Austin’s proposed budget be given the green light, and deputy Maureen Byrne proposed that to full council and was backed nearly unanimously.
She said there was ‘no alternative’ if the council were to retain its level of services and events while coping with cuts.
Cllr Clive Turner was the only Tory councillor not to defy MP Matthew Hancock, who has said his party would fight the ‘inflation busting’ rise.
The new budget will see the council end its two year reliance on its reserves, which Mr Austin said was needed in case of any problems with the Grade II listed arts centre and also for the council’s youth provision, such as turning the old Magistrates’ Court in Camps Road into a youth centre.
Councillors had said that people in Haverhill supported the rise, but an Echo survey revealed that only 16.5 per cent of respondants support the tax hike while and overwhelmhing 83.5 per cent oppose it.
For the full story and all the latest news see tomorrow’s (Thursday, February 20) Echo.