Mid Suffolk: Council to review decision over grants after pressure from Westminster

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market. Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Thursday, January 2, 2014
6:00 AM

A review will take place over a decision to withdraw a council grant which is “tantamount to illegality”, according to a town hall.

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In October, Mid Suffolk District Council’s executive committee voted to reduce the Council Tax Support Grant by 25% over four years.

The grant, which is worth more than £150,000 to town and parish councils, has in the past been given to the authorities by money passing from the Government to Mid Suffolk.

Needham Market district councillors Liberal Democrats, Wendy Marchant and Mike Norris both criticised Mid Suffolk for its plans to withdraw the grant.

Speaking at a full council meeting last month, Mrs Marchant said: “The Government minister, Brandon Lewis, has said at the despatch box in the House of Commons that all billing authorities should pass on the grant to town and parish councils. The total amount of funding to all local authorities from Government for 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 is the same at £3.3billion.

“By Mid Suffolk reducing the grant to town and parish councils, and at the same time passing down extra responsibilities - i.e. in Needham Market the public toilets and the High Street car park, it is a double whammy putting the town council in a very difficult financial position. Therefore could Mid Suffolk reconsider this decision?”

In the minutes from a Needham Market Town Council meeting the authority criticised Mid Suffolk’s decision: “The message is, the district council decision is tantamount to illegality.”

In the full council meeting, leader of Mid Suffolk, Conservative Derrick Haley revealed that a review would be carried out of the decision.

He said: “The thing is Needham Market (Town Council) did not look at the precept last year when they had the opportunity to do so. So now they have a problem.”

In the October meeting the councillors heard that Mid Suffolk was facing “significant financial challenges”. Councillor for Badwell Ash, Conservative Roy Barker, said parishes needed to realise that the “precept did not come falling from the sky.”

1 comment

  • If what Derrick Haley is right in what he says then who did not do their job right at needham should go, or will it put the blame on someone else

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    Thursday, January 2, 2014