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Big rise in tax looms for residents

PUBLISHED: 02:37 17 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

RESIDENTS living in the heart of Suffolk are being warned they could face hikes in council tax bills ahead of inflation.

The rise is to be debated by Mid Suffolk District Council and would see an average increase in council tax bills from the authority of about £14 a year per home.

RESIDENTS living in the heart of Suffolk are being warned they could face hikes in council tax bills ahead of inflation.

The rise is to be debated by Mid Suffolk District Council and would see an average increase in council tax bills from the authority of about £14 a year per home.

If agreed, the council's share of the bill, on top of the separate charges from the police, county, town and parish councils, would rise on average from £95.25 this year to £109.54.

Andy Radford, head of financial management at the district council, said: "The options are to reduce services or increase council tax."

Mr Radford said a 15 per cent rise is the worst case scenario and still needs to be debated both on Monday and into the New Year.

A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said: "The Government's recently announced spending proposals for local

government have severely hit rural districts, compounded by a Whitehall mistake, which could leave the council with a budget gap of more than £100,000.''

Leader of the council, Penny Otton, said: "The settlement from Government is disappointing to the extent that we are expected to implement the Government's initiatives at local level, but without any extra resources.

"Mid Suffolk District Council's plans to talk and work more with local people to improve services and to use information technology to modernise how we work could be in jeopardy.

"Increased funding of 1.4pc means that the expenditure to be funded from council tax may have to increase by up to 15pc.

"However, for the Mid Suffolk portion of council tax this is approximately 30p per week. The alternative is to stop providing the services that people tell us they enjoy like leisure and countryside activities, and we do not want to do that."

In a published letter to the Government, the Local Government Association has pointed out that "for shire districts, losing £50,000 or more in grant is a very serious issue."

Mid Suffolk District Council, which is based at Needham Market, will be discussing the revenue and capital budget for 2002/3 during the Executive Committee meeting from 10am on Monday.


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