max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C


Ipswich: Tax bills set to rise in borough

10:08 12 February 2013

Ben Gummer and David Ellesmere have clashed over council tax proposals.

Ben Gummer and David Ellesmere have clashed over council tax proposals.


The borough’s element of council tax bills are set to rise in April for the first time in two years – putting the authority on a collision-course with the government.


The borough is set to increase its council tax bills by 1.98% – a fraction under the 2% threshold that would trigger a local referendum under new legislation.

The increase amounts to just 9p a week, or even less, for most homes in the borough – and council leader David Ellesmere said a consultation exercise suggested most residents would be prepared to pay the extra.

The increase means the borough will lose a £100,000 bonus from the Department for Local Government which was on offer for councils freezing their tax demand. However the rise will bring in an extra £200,000.

Mr Ellesmere said: “We have found £5million in savings over the last few years, but we feel we cannot freeze council tax bills again without endangering services too much.”

He said that with inflation running between 2.5% and 3% and the government reducing grants to local authorities, the council had already suffered a substantial cut in income in real terms.

The borough was keen to protect front-line services, but Mr Ellesmere could not rule out cuts in the longer term.

This year he was determined to try to boost economic support for the town with initiatives including retaining the reduced fees in borough car parks and attracting more special events.

A survey of voters in the town showed that 65% said they would approve of a small council tax increase to retain services.

However the move has not gone down well with the town’s Conservative MP.

Ben Gummer said: “This is a predictable but disappointing decision. It might look like a small increase, but it is the principle that matters.

“Other councils, including some Labour councils, have cut their council tax bills yet Ipswich is putting it up – the borough should be working to cut its spending.”

The borough’s element of council tax is higher than that in neighbouring districts. That is partially explained by the lack of parish or town council elements in Ipswich – voters in towns like Leiston or Sudbury can pay nearly £100 a year towards their local bodies.

Also Ipswich has a much higher proportion of its homes in the lowest two council tax bands – 69% of homes in the town are in bands A or B. In Mid Suffolk the proportion is 40%, in Babergh it is 41% and in Suffolk Coastal it is 38%.

That means more of the council’s income has to come from lower-band households, forcing the council to have higher bands.

Is the borough right to increase its council tax? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk



  • The problem is that we do not get value for money now. This just gives them more money to waste on second rate, third world services.

    Report this comment

    David S

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Fancy that IBC want more money when everyone else has got less . Again shows their ignorance and arrogance and will spend it on hair brained projects and ideas !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Aqua 8, Lion Street, Ipswich

An Ipswich chef-entrepreneur has achieved his dream of opening up his own restaurant in London’s Chinatown.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Theatre Square artists impression

Construction work to tidy up the former Civic Centre site in the heart of Ipswich – and to create a new public square in front of the New Wolsey Theatre.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

More than 30 vehicles were stopped as part of the operation

More than 30 drivers of lorries, light goods vehicles and coaches were stopped by police last week in an initiative aimed to target and disrupt criminal activity.

Robin Byford who is considering High Court action against Suffolk Coastal District Council and the planning inspectorate over planning permission to turn his garage into a house.

A Kesgrave father is considering taking the district council and planning inspectorate to the High Court after a three year planning rollercoaster to convert a garage to a starter home for his daughter.

The Kent Lodge Nursing Home.

Kent Lodge was rated inadequate by the CQC this year – one of five homes in the county to be given the rating this year

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages