Council tax rise revealed

COUNCIL tax payers in Ipswich will have to pay an extra 4.92 per cent towards services, the Evening Star can reveal today.Ipswich Borough Council voted in favour of the rise, and rejected an amendment put forward by the Liberal Democrats for council tax prices to be frozen.

COUNCIL tax payers in Ipswich will have to pay an extra 4.92 per cent towards services, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Ipswich Borough Council voted in favour of the rise, and rejected an amendment put forward by the Liberal Democrats for council tax prices to be frozen.

Conservative council leader Dale Jackson said the increase would be "depressing" for Ipswich residents.

Labour finance portfolio holder John Le Grys was responsible for drawing up the budget and said the council was aiming to make Ipswich cleaner, safer and fairer.

He said: "I believe that we have set a realistic budget and one that the people of Ipswich will find acceptable.

"This budget gives the council the opportunity to maintain the level of services that is needed for the people of Ipswich."

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He added that the increase would mean each household would be paying about 19p extra each week and said it was "real value for money".

Councillor Peter Gardiner, backing the proposal, said: "In terms of cleaner Ipswich we will be expanding recycling services in the town.

"We also are going to be moving a step further in relation to street care. In terms of safer Ipswich, new mobile and fixed cameras will be introduced."

He stressed the council's commitment to the community area forums but admitted he was not happy that council tax was rising again.

He said: "I have no pleasure as it still shows an increase. But if you look at it in real terms, over the period of ten years, the people of Ipswich have had their council tax reduced by ten per cent."

Conservative council leader Dale Jackson said: "Yet again it is depressing for these people to be paying council tax. At five per cent it is almost double the rate of inflation and that cannot be defended."

He said that under Conservative rule, the rate would have gone up by the inflation rate of about 2.73 per cent, but did not say how they would have spent the money.

Liberal democrat councillor Richard Atkins said the people of Ipswich would be "let down" by the 4.92 per cent increase and demanded that council tax be frozen for the coming year.

He said: "The majority of people in Ipswich do not want an increase of council tax."

Mr Atkins put an amendment that would show a zero per cent increase but only three other people supported it and the proposal was rejected.

n What do you think of the increase? Is it fair? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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