Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

East Suffolk householders facing first council tax rise in six years

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 January 2016

Suffolk Coastal District Council

Suffolk Coastal District Council

Archant

Having had their council tax frozen for six years on the trot, people living in Suffolk Coastal are set to face a 2% rise in the district share of their bills for the next four years.

District councillors will be recommended to agree a rise of £2.97 for a Band D property – an increase of 1.99% to keep it below the 2% threshold at which electors could call a referendum to approve or reject the rise – formally next month.

Residents will also receive demands from the county council, expected to increase its tax, the town or parish in which they live, and from Suffolk Constabulary.

The council tax funds nearly 60% of Suffolk Coastal’s budget and the proposed increase is needed in the face of substantial and rapid reductions in Government support grant and increasing costs to maintain its services.

In a report to the council’s cabinet, Geoff Holdcroft, deputy leader and cabinet member with responsibility for resources, outlined the changes in funding streams which would impact severely on the authority’s finances.

He said: “Against this backdrop, and the scale of funding reductions indicated, the council should consider adopting a strategy of increasing council tax year-on-year at the maximum referendum limit levels.

“Council tax increases at 2% per annum – generating around £150,000 additional income each year – would offset funding reductions to some extent and build up the income base.

“An increase of 1.99% is proposed for 2016/17 to 2019/20 and is reflected in the budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy presented in this report.”

Councillors are also recommended to amend the council tax charges for empty, substantially unfurnished properties from 25% discount for a three month period to 100% discount for one week followed by a full charge.

The council had been hoping that the Government’s plan for local authorities to benefit from a share of business rates if they generate extra economic growth would pay dividends, but the system is complex and does not guarantee huge amounts of cash, and is proving difficult to forecast.

Mr Holdcroft said the council had decided to budget prudently with regard to the business rates as the actual income received since the introduction of the system in 2014 had been subject to “considerable volatility” due to appeals and refunds.

Meanwhile, money received from the New Homes Bonus is more settled – £1.49m this year and £2.1m next year – but its future is uncertain and the Government is currently carrying out a review of the system, preferring to divert the money into social care.

Drivers are advised that it is “highly likely” the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will shut during tomorrow morning’s rush hour amid forecasts of 65mph gusts.

A Suffolk NHS trust has been ranked one of the best of the country, despite experiencing its most challenging winter on record.

He’s a well known television personality, but what’s John Bishop like live? Reviewer ELLIS BARKER headed down to the Regent tonight for the first gig of his three-night stop in Ipswich.

Warnings issued of the Orwell Bridge’s third closure in as many weeks have prompted renewed calls for a northern bypass to be built.

An investigation into whether ambulance delays caused the deaths of patients in the East of England must be transparent and independent, a union leader has warned.

A couple who run a hedgehog rescue charity from their home near Stowmarket say they released more than 400 of the little animals into the wild just last year.

New volunteers are being sought to join the ranks of Suffolk’s Special Constabulary and help keep their county safe.

Two teenagers wanted in connection with the attempted murder of a 17-year-old in Colchester are still at large following a “targeted” attack.

Museum Friends raise £8,000 to support the Wolsey’s Angels exhibition at Christchurch Mansion

Four burglars wearing balaclavas were arrested after security staff monitoring CCTV cameras saw them on the site of an Ipswich town centre car park where building work was being carried out, a court has heard.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24