Councils announce budget plans

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BABERGH Borough Council has announced that it will be raising Council Tax by 3.5 per cent.

The authority has decided to raise Council Tax instead of accepting the Government’s £115,000 incentive to freeze it.

The 3.5 per cent increase, which will raise £160,000, will mean that band D households see a £4.85 rise in their Council Tax in 2012/13.

Cllr Jennie Jenkins, chairman of Babergh Borough Council’s strategy committee, said: “This budget  was supported by a majority of all four political groups and in it councillors have tried to strike a balance between finding savings and protecting services.”

Suffolk Police have also announced they will be raising their precept by 3.75 percent, the equivilant of £6.03 for a band D household.

Suffolk Police rejected the option of freezing Council Tax and receiving a £1.25 million one-off grant as it would have meant a minimum £1.6 million loss of funding in subsequent years.

Mid Suffolk, Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils have all announced their intention to freeze Council Tax for 2012/13 as has Suffolk County Council.

All councils are pursuing measures to make savings in the forthcoming year.

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee said: “I’ve made it very clear that what I want to see is the creation of a budget that saves money on back office and bureaucracy, protects, as much as possible, frontline services and keeps Council Tax down.”