Haverhill Town Council likely to raise council tax tonight

Haverhill Town Council will likely raise council tax at tonight's meeting
Haverhill Town Council will likely raise council tax at tonight's meeting

Haverhill Town Council meets tonight (Tuesday, February 18), with the prominent item on the agenda being to agree the budget and town council precept for 2014/15.

It is recommended that the council’s share of the council tax precept is increased by 3.69 per cent – equivalent to £3.98 extra on a Band D property – to mitigate for St Edmundsbury cuts.

The borough council is cutting the £128,993 council tax support grant to Haverhill, which it is phasing out over four years by cutting a quarter – £32,233 – annually.

The recommended tax rise is being opposed by the Conservatives and Matthew Hancock MP.

The draft budget shows that the council currently generates £875,160 a year through its council tax precept, with a net expenditure of £1.04 million and income of £170,000.

Outgoings include £390,406 on the arts centre, £196,675 on personnel, £158,775 on funding and grants panel, £158,384 on arts and leisure and £124,370 to the community first committee.

Though net expenditure is reducing by £33,200 to accommodate the borough cut, expenditure increases by £12,200, including for ONE Haverhill’s youth skills manager Karen Chapple at £39,200 on a salary of £28,000.

The Christmas lights contract of £15,000 is being cut as it ends, while staffing costs increase by one per cent.

Also on the agenda is police reports, agreeing who will fill the finance committee vacancy, and agreeing that the town council meets the prescribed conditions to be an eligible parish council.

The council will also be asked to support the Labour group’s petition calling for the borough council not to make the £128,000 cut.

Follow @JackTappin on Twitter for live coverage of tonight’s (Tuesday, February 18) meeting.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 20) Echo.