Saxmundham council tax criticised as households face rise for third year running
- Credit: Archant
Community leaders in Saxmundham were told there was “no justification” for increasing the council tax again next year – after having put it up by 18.7% this year.
Town and district councillor Sir Peter Batho was the only member of Saxmundham Town Council to vote against a further rise in the tax.
He said: “This will be a rise of just under £4,000 on our budget, which equates to an increase of 3% on top of an extremely high increase last time and I cannot see any justification for that. I think it is excessive.”
Sir Peter criticised several places in the budget where he felt money earmarked was too large for the actual sums needed that would arise.
The town council set a budget of £131,000 for 2015/16.
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Council chairman John Fisher said because there were now more residents in the town due to housebuilding in the past year, more households would be paying the tax and the town council’s increase would amount to only 0.2% on bills.
He said the council had built up higher than usual reserves in the past two years, partly due to extra government grant which would not be received in future, but this money had been allocated for specific projects to benefit the town.
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Some would be used as part of the project to purchase the police station, while £30,000 had been allocated towards a youth club, and other money was held in case it was needed for the railway station.
Finance committee chairman Roger Plant said: “The council has been far too frugal in the last ten years. In addition, we have to spend around £20,000 on replacing play equipment which has reached the end of its useful life.”