Council costs made public

HOME owners in the Mid Suffolk District paid just under five million pounds for their district council services last year – an increase of more than eight per cent on the previous year.

HOME owners in the Mid Suffolk District paid just under five million pounds for their district council services last year – an increase of more than eight per cent on the previous year.

The figure is revealed in the statement of accounts which is available for public inspection at the council's Needham Market offices.

This reveals that the council's total cash requirement from the grants and council tax bills increase from £9.3 million to £10.1 million – an increase of about nine pc.

Council taxpayers foot about 48 pc of the total – the rest comes from government grants and from business rates which are collected locally, sent to central government, and then re-distributed to local authorities.


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The authority's largest single cost is the housing revenue account, which manages its 3,571 council homes across the district which stretches from Claydon and Bramford near Ipswich up to the Norfolk border, including the towns of Stowmarket, Needham Market, Eye, and Stradbroke.

Its second largest cost is environmental services – the weekly refuse collection – followed closely by cultural and related services, including the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre at Stowmarket, tourism, and marketing the district.

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The leisure centre is one of the most popular attractions in Mid Suffolk, and needed a subsidy of £389,000 last year.

However that includes the Ocean Adventure children's play area and that kind of loss – it received an income of £1,391,798 but had expenses of £1,781,256 – compares well with other council-run leisure centres.

The accounts reveal that one council employee – almost certainly chief executive Andrew Good – received a salary of between £80,000 and £90,000.

Two other employees earned between £60,000 and £80,000.

However there were fewer people earning more than £50,000 than there had been the previous year.

Government legislation forces councils to reveal how much they spend on publicity – last year Mid Suffolk spent £210,000 on this, including £55,000 on recruitment advertising and £102,000 on promotional material.

Do you think Mid Suffolk offers good value for money? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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