Residents' concern over council tax

HUNDREDS of coupons about council tax have arrived at the Evening Star offices – and one burning issue which people keep highlighting is the move to Ipswich's Endeavour House.

By MEYREM HUSSEIN, meyrem.hussein@eveningstar.co.uk

file pics County Hall and Endeavour House>

HUNDREDS of coupons about council tax have arrived at the Evening Star offices – and one burning issue which people keep highlighting is the move to Ipswich's Endeavour House.

Many coupons ask why Suffolk County Council is moving premises to Endeavour House at a time when council tax is so high that many people – especially pensioners – are finding it crippling.

The county council's proposed move is especially galling given the 18.5 per cent increase in its share of the council tax last year.

Derek Salcombe, 71, of Heathfield in Martlesham Heath, who is calling for no increase in the council tax next year, said the county council should not have committed to moving with County Hall as yet unsold.

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He said: "The first thing that comes to my mind is that if you are running a business that is losing money, you don't up and move without your old building being sold.

"I am sure that the move to Endeavour House will be an overspend situation."

Peter Gray, of Norman Crescent in Ipswich, also objected to money being spent on Endeavour House.

He wrote: "Why not cut the £1,500,000 budgeted for brand new, 'flash' furniture for the county council's HQ, Endeavour House. That would help."

Furthermore, Mr D Kent of Boydlands in Capel St Mary wrote: "Shelve Endeavour House move."

But the county council has insisted that the move has had no negative impact on council tax because the move is not funded from revenue budget – but from the capital budget.

The council has also claimed that the £16.7m buying price was a bargain and that the move will help save money in the future.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: "Endeavour House is being paid for out of our reserves. It does not come out of the revenue budget. None of the council tax increase has had anything to do with Endeavour House.

"The money for it has come out of the capital budget."

She added: "The lower running costs of Endeavour House will see savings over time – and running costs are revenue costs. So in the future this will mean there will be a positive impact on council tax.

"The long-term running costs of our current premises will no longer have to be met.

"Selling County Hall – even though we don't have a buyer yet - will help offset the costs of moving and having Endeavour House in the Ipswich Village will help the local economy."

N What do you think? Write to Your Letter, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, or email EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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