By Ross Bentley
Thursday, February 14, 2013
A DISTRICT council has agreed to reduce its share of council tax for a third successive year.
Tendring District councillors met on Tuesday night to agree a budget which includes a 0.5% reduction in its council tax charges for the coming financial year.
According to leader of the council, Cllr Peter Halliday, despite the reduction, residents will not see any cuts in front-line services.
He said: “We have been able to give something back to our residents.
“We have set aside £300,000 to extend the free parking initiative into 2013/14. This has proved a great success and a real support to local businesses.”
Mr Halliday said the council is expecting to receive a New Homes Bonus of more than £1million over the next financial year and he promised the money would be used to assist in delivering inward investment and growth.
He also predicted a further drop in funding from central government, with local authorities expected to move as far as possible towards self-sufficiency.
Mr Halliday added: “However, we must also remain committed to working either alone or with our partners in delivering against our key priorities. These include coast protection and seafront improvements, inward investment and growth, and supporting our local residents through the impact of the current economic climate and welfare changes.”
In total, 37 councillors voted for the budget, 17 abstained and one voted against.
The solitary against vote was cast by Harry Shearing, Lib Dem councillor for the Bocking Elm ward, who labelled the council’s decision to cut its share of council tax “a political move”. Mr Shearing said: “In reality, the cut amounts to little more than one penny per household per week, so it is hard to say it is helping people.
“The Government has encouraged councils to hold their rates and Tendring District Council is likely to receive more money from the Government for doing this than it will give back to residents.”