Council tax cut for Bury residents

A COUNCIL which last year faced abolition amid claims it was a waste of money could become the only authority in Suffolk to cut its share of the council tax next year.

Laurence Cawley

A COUNCIL which last year faced abolition amid claims it was a waste of money could become the only authority in Suffolk to cut its share of the council tax next year.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council will next year ask the public for £187,903, which is more than £400 less than the £188,320 it took in council tax precept this year.

Leaders at the council say although the reduction is only “slight”, it is nevertheless important because it comes after a year's work trying to stamp out any unnecessary costs.


You may also want to watch:


The announcement of a council tax cut - the exact amount per household remains uncertain because the number of people who will pay it next year is yet to be decided - comes nearly 20 months after the Abolish Bury Town Council (ABC) group took control of the authority. The group, led by Roy Bebbington, claimed the town council was a “waste of money” and set about trying to wind it down and curb any unnecessary spending.

Although the ABC group is no longer in control of the council, the current administration has publicly thanked ABC for paving the way for a leaner authority.

Most Read

Council chairman Richard Rout said: “This is a fantastic result for council tax payers.

“I pay tribute to the work of the previous administration in starting to tackle unnecessary expenditure, and would like to thank all those involved in the peer review for helping to slash administrative costs.

“This is a council that has sorted itself out after a difficult period, and is ready for whatever lies ahead.”

The decision to reduce the council tax level - which this year stands at £13.95 at band D - comes just weeks after St Edmundsbury Borough Council pledged to do all it could to freeze its slice of the council tax share next year.

Paul Farmer, who drew up next year's town council budget, said: “This is exactly what my electors want: a council which is slim enough to give better value, but able to expand as and when necessary.

“Whilst this may be the last year we can peg the council tax level, any future growth should be gradual and not plain empire-building.”

He said because of the way the council had managed its finances during the past year, the town council would be able to increase its spending on services and cut the council tax precept.

Next year, £5,000 will be given to Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Management, which did not receive a penny from the council this year. The town council will also be increasing its spending on Christmas lights in the town next year.

Suffolk County Council has stated although it will keep any increase to a minimum, it will be unlikely to introduce a tax freeze next year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter