Ipswich: New figures show council tax second lowest in Suffolk

David Ellesmere David Ellesmere

Monday, March 10, 2014
1:32 PM

Homes in Ipswich have the second lowest council tax bills in Suffolk – higher only than those in the Waveney district in the far north east of the county.

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The figures have come from the government’s Department of Communities and Local Government – and tell a very different story to the usual method of comparing council tax rates which has Ipswich at the top of Suffolk league table.

The DCLG figures show that the “average” council tax bill in the town is £960 for the current year.

In Waveney the average bill is £928, in Suffolk Coastal it is £1,219, in Mid Suffolk £1,238, in Babergh £1,206, and in St Edmundsbury £1,165.

The low rate in Ipswich and Waveney is because both are based on large towns with a high proportion of small homes.

The government sees the “average” home as being in Band D, typically a three-bedroomed detached house, however in Ipswich 87% of homes are in bands A-C, with 68% being in the bottom two bands.

Also there are many more people in Ipswich and Waveney whose council tax is reduced because they are entitled to benefits.

Ipswich council’s Labour leader David Ellesmere welcomed the publication of the figures: “This explodes the myth, which has been repeated by the town’s MP, that council tax bills in Ipswich are very high.

“It turns out they are among the lowest in Suffolk. It is ridiculous to treat Band D homes as average in Ipswich when they are such a small proportion (7%) of the total in the town.”

Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer was unrepentant about repeating his call for a reduction in council tax bills in the town.

He produced figures to show that of the 91 local authorities in England with a higher proportion of Band A homes than Ipswich, 82 had lower council tax bills.

He said: “However you want to present these figures it is a fact that people in Ipswich pay too high council tax.

“It would be better if the council followed the lead of other Labour authorities across the country and froze its council tax rather than increasing it.”


7 comments

  • I'm sorry but this story us absolutely ridiculous. Does this man think people will genuinely be happy about this story? It's like saying Wales is the most expensive country in the world to live in (but it's actually the cheapest because everyone lives on beans on toast - which costs less than a proper cooked dinner in England, Scotland and Wales.) Stop wasting money on pointless projects which make Ipswich even more difficult to drive in, support local businesses more and for goodness sake cut your massive pension bills. The majority of council tax is going on paying people's pension that used to work there some time ago. Why are we paying massive sums for random people's pensions when we don't even have our own to rely on. Basic state pension - thanks very much!

    Report this comment

    IpswichResident

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • "...in Suffolk" Wow - an area almost as big as Texas...

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • @IpswichResident I think you need to check your facts. The driving problems have been caused by SCC not IBC, also many local government pension schemes are running in surplus, and even more will be in the future.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • Funny thing is both Ipswich and Suffolk get less of a central Government grant than the majority of the other councils who will be within the high A & B number of properties. Why because the Govenment views Ipswich as being in the rich East of England, were as it is a Town with a lot of legacy issues from being a large heavy industrial town. So you have to be careful, blindly comparing councils really is not fair. Strip out all the variables such as central grant etc then compare. But look at your bill IBCs share is only 20% of the bill, the majority is true blue SCC.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • Good old Labour Council. Keep squeezing us, keep people pockets empty. When you run out of other peoples money i.e socialism, then what do you do?

    Report this comment

    Rory Breaker

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • It's all in the wording! Because less people in the borough actually pay the full amount, and because a high proportion of homes in the borough are small, less revenue is generated, which when divided by the number of properties people shows that Ipswich has less per household. This DOES NOT MEAN that those of use who pay the full amount pay less than nearly every other borough in the County. So actually this is a bad thing! Less money for less services to go around. Do the borough Councillors really think we are so stupid as to fall for this play on statistics? Though I guess that given the majority of IBC residents voted for this motley crew, they really must be...

    Report this comment

    Emmy Lou

    Monday, March 10, 2014

  • Funny thing is both Ipswich and Suffolk get less of a central Government grant than the majority of the other councils who will be within the high A & B number of properties. Why because the Govenment views Ipswich as being in the rich East of England, were as it is a Town with a lot of legacy issues from being a large heavy industrial town. So you have to be careful, blindly comparing councils really is not fair. Strip out all the variables such as central grant etc then compare. But look at your bill IBCs share is only 20% of the bill, the majority is true blue SCC.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Monday, March 10, 2014

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