Council tax rise for Ipswich announced

HOMEOWNERS in Ipswich will face a 2.93% increase in their council tax for 2009/10, it was announced tonight.

HOMEOWNERS in Ipswich will face a 2.93% increase in their council tax for 2009/10, it was announced tonight.

John Carnall, finance portfolio holder for the borough council, said he was pleased to give the small rise the thumbs up.

“Since 2004, we have always delivered a low council tax increase and, given the state of the economy nationally, with many people facing financial hardship, we have been even more determined to make the council tax payments manageable for the people of Ipswich,” he said.

“We have achieved this through good fiscal management, maintaining a healthy working balance, and reducing borrowing from the unacceptably high levels previously reached during Labour's 25 years.”

The increase was agreed at a meeting of the borough council tonight.

Mr Carnall said there would be continued investment, including around �4m in Crown Pools and Fore Street Baths whilst also committing a further �700,000 for general maintenance.

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He said the authority had also set aside �800,000 to cope with any problems arising from the recession.

Key priorities within the budget include:

�600,000 to repair the roads

An additional �910,000 to the university over two years

Nearly �1m for affordable housing

�850,000 for environmental improvements in the town centre

A further �250,000 for additional teenage and children's play areas

Increased staffing levels in benefits to cope with the rise in claims