December 5 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
A council has voted to phase out a grant to towns and parishes as it faces “significant financial challenges”.
Towns and parishes in Mid Suffolk will see their Council Tax Support Grant decrease by 25% over four years from 2014/15.
The money has been worth more than £150,000 to town and parish councils this year.
Mid Suffolk’s leader Derrick Haley said: “We are going to get less money from the Government, there’s no doubt about it. I am happy to support this and happy to move the recommendation provided it’s clear that we talk to parishes and everyone knows what is going on.”
The money Mid Suffolk receives from central government through its Revenue Support Grant is set to be halved over the next two years.
Roy Barker, councillor for Badwell Ash, said parish councils would need to look at cost saving measures.
He said: “The parishes have to get more professional and realise the precept does not come falling from the sky.”
Penny Otton, councillor for Rattlesden, said: “The parishes can have very few ways of raising money and they are being asked to take on more services so I do have a problem with this.”
But Mr Haley said the council could have taken away the grant over a shorter time period and the figures involved were “quite small” in a number of cases.
Stowmarket Town Council clerk, David Blackburn, said it was too early to say what the impact would be.
He said: “We will have to consider this as part of the budget round that’s coming up so we are not able to say what, if any, direct impact there will be.”
Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils’ chief executive, Charlie Adan, said it was “really important” to keep parishes and towns informed as the process progressed.