Council tax bill for residents in Mid Suffolk to increase by 1.9%
- Credit: Archant
Representatives of a Suffolk district have agreed to raise council tax by nearly 2% for the coming financial year.
The increase, made Mid Suffolk District Council(MSDC), means residents in a Band D property will face a rise in their council tax of 1.9% – just under 6p a week (£2.97 a year).
However, as more than half of the district live in Band A, B and C properties, residents will only see an increase of 5p a week or less (£2.64 a year or less) on their council tax bills.
Those in the largest properties will face an 11p a week increase, just under a £6 a year rise. The increase was voted through as the council faces a significant decrease in funding from the government.
However, the local authority has pledged that those most in need will not pay more than 5% of their council tax bill as it continues its council tax reduction scheme. At the full council meeting, council house rents were reduced by 1% (equivalent to an average rent reduction of 84p a week), as required by the welfare reform and work bill.
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Councillors also agreed to use £500,000 of government support from the new homes bonus and business rates grants to support the budget.
An increase of 1% on sheltered housing rents, equivalent to an average increase of 7p a week and an increase of 10% on garage rents, equivalent to an average increase of 76p a week, were also passed.
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Derrick Haley, MSDC’s leader, said the council tax increase was not a decision that was taken lightly and added: “We have been making sure we are financially sustainable by increasing our council tax income where necessary over the last few years.
“This prudence, along with our wise investments, means we are in a relatively good position and are able to keep our increase below the £5 maximum that we were allowed to do.
“We have all had to accept that, with decreased core funding from central government, if we want to maintain our essential services, we needed to do this. It ensures we are in a better position to face the future financial challenges.
“MSDC is actively exploring alternate ways of generating income to replace the core funding from government and we are also looking at different ways we can invest to earn a better return.”
Leader of the Green Party group, Andrew Stringer, whose party had offered an alternative budget calling on the Conservative-controlled authority to speed up the building of homes in sustainable locations, said: “We all know councils have got to find new ways of generating income.”
He said the alternative budget was “booted into touch” and added: “We were told all the points we have raised are being addressed – so we’ll be watching that like a hawk.”