Star campaign goes to County Hall

HUNDREDS of coupons from Evening Star readers are today being studied by Suffolk County Council officials as they prepare next year's budget.And county hall officials should get their first indication of what next year's budget will be next week when the government's cash settlement for local councils is announced.

HUNDREDS of coupons from Evening Star readers are today being studied by Suffolk County Council officials as they prepare next year's budget.

And county hall officials should get their first indication of what next year's budget will be next week when the government's cash settlement for local councils is announced.

But they are unlikely to be able to come up with any detailed figures of likely council tax rises next year until the figures themselves are studied over the following days.

"All we will hear in the first place is the total figure that the grant is likely to be," said Suffolk County Council deputy leader David Rowe.


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"But it will take quite a bit of analysis to work out what that actually means in real terms – then we can really start to look at the options."

Officers and senior councillors have already started a series of meetings looking at where cuts can be made in the organisation's overall budget.

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Mr Rowe said they were now looking at what were considered core services to see if any further savings could be made in these.

The consultation process with local residents and other organisations – to which the Evening Star coupons will be added – is expected to continue until the middle of December at which time the first indication about the likely council tax increase next year is likely to emerge.

"Even though we're expecting to hear the overall settlement next week, it will be impossible for us to estimate what effect that will have on council tax bills until we've done more analysis," said Mr Rowe.

nYou can still have your say on council tax: write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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