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St Edmundsbury: Council tax freeze proposed

PUBLISHED: 17:15 04 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:15 04 February 2014

West Suffolk House in Bury

West Suffolk House in Bury

Archant

Council tax in parts of west Suffolk could be frozen for the fifth year out of the last six, it has been announced.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet will propose that the tax remains at its current level when they meet on Tuesday February 11.

John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury said increased efficiency through sharing management and services with neighbouring Forest Heath District Council meant the move was possible, despite Government cuts.

He added: “I am delighted that we are able to be proposing to freeze our share of council tax yet again which means that residents will be paying the same as they did four years ago. To do this, while maintaining the quality services which St Edmundsbury provides, has not been at all easy, and the council continues to face further financial pressures and reductions in funding from Government.

“However, we have already proved that by working differently, we can deliver savings while protecting services for the people we serve. We will continue to look for innovative and cost effective ways to improve the quality of life, and value for money, for our residents.”

A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury said the authority has achieved £3.5million savings through sharing services and a further £417,000 local savings. She added that central funding has been cut by a further 23%, making 48% reduction over the next two years.

Mr Griffiths said: “We have been mindful while preparing next year’s budget that tough times will be with us for some time. Our Medium Term Financial Strategy for the next two years, shared with Forest Heath, gives a framework for tackling the serious challenges yet to come, as the role of local government changes.”

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