New Tory policies revealed
COUNCIL tax charges for Ipswich borough will go up by less than the rate of inflation next year.That was the pledge today from the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration at Civic Centre.
COUNCIL tax charges for Ipswich borough will go up by less than the rate of inflation next year.
That was the pledge today from the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration at Civic Centre.
But there are also warnings that some borough services could be cut, such as concessionary bus fares.
Finance spokesman John Carnall made the council tax pledge as the new administration set out its first new policies.
He said he was working with officers to go through the council books in an attempt to identify savings.
He said: "The Audit Commission has said that the council does too much, it should prioritise its work more closely.
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"Over the last 25 years the council has taken on more and more services - but it cannot let go of anything.
"As a result many of the council's main buildings are now in a desperate need of work. Look at Broomhill Pool - but also there are problems at Crown Pools, the Regent Theatre, and at the town's Crown car park."
One area up for review is borough concessionary bus fares for pensioners.
At present senior citizens pay a standard fare of 40p for bus trips within the town.
The county council administers a Suffolk-wide scheme which charges senior citizens half fares - which would be 55p for most journeys in the town- and Mr Carnall said the borough's scheme would come under the spotlight.
He added: "But I have to emphasise that no decision on this has yet been made."
Since the minority Labour administration fell on September 15, the new coalition administration has been finding its way around the corridors of power and formulating its policies.
During the run-up to the June election the Tories campaigned on a policy of cutting council tax bills and encouraging more business in the town.
But today was the first time they have joined their new Liberal Democrat colleagues to discuss any actual policies.
The new executive has been deep in discussions with senior council officials - but normal meetings have been cancelled while they get to grips with the nuts and bolts of power.
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