Residents face £1,000 council tax bill

Thursday, February 6, 2003
5.26 AM

By Liz Hearnshaw

COUNCIL taxpayers in the Bury St Edmunds area are facing bills of more than £1,000 for the first time after one authority said its share of the charge was to rise by almost 10%.

By Liz Hearnshaw

COUNCIL taxpayers in the Bury St Edmunds area are facing bills of more than £1,000 for the first time after one authority said its share of the charge was to rise by almost 10%.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council released yesterday figures which revealed its portion of the council tax bill levied on homeowners would increase this year by 9.9%.

The announcement was criticised by the Conservative opposition group on the council, who said the figure was “hugely above inflation” and indicated the Labour-led coalition administration was “not in control of its finances”.

The increase will see the owners of the average band D properties, who currently pay £973 per year, facing bills way of more than £1,000 after Suffolk County Council its share of the charge would rise by 18.3%.

Mark Ereira-Guyer, deputy leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the increase was considerably lower than the 14.9% figure projected earlier in the financial year.

“We want to try to have the lowest council tax increase in the county, whilst still doing all the things the community value,” he added.

“We have shaved bits off the budget to reduce the projected figure, while making sure really good services are not affected.

“I am delighted we have managed to achieve this so the whole community in the borough of St Edmundsbury will benefit from lower increases.”

But opposition spokesman Andrew Varley said: “This rise is almost twice as high as that predicted when we left office (in April 2002).

“It is hugely above inflation and indicates an administration not in control of its finances.”

Suffolk Police Authority's share, plus a levy for town or parish councils, has yet to be added to the billing figures planned by Suffolk County Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

liz.hearnshaw@eadt.co.uk