County to freeze Council Tax and cut £26.2 million

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SUFFOLK County Council is to freeze its share of Council Tax for the second consecutive year.

The authority’s cabinet is expected to approve the move and sign off on £26.2 million in budget cuts for 2012/13 on Tuesday.

Papers published last week reveal that the number of people employed directly by the council is expected to fall from 10,456 in April 2010 to 4,817 by March 2013 as a result of the savings.

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

The budget will see £12 million cut by ‘improving efficiency and removing unnecessary processes’, including 1.5 per cent slashed across all departments.

A further £8 million will be saved in adult care by focusing more on prevention, so vulnerable people remain independent for longer and do not become dependent on more costly support in later years. Reducing management costs and office space will also net £2.2 million collectively.

The Council tax freeze has been made possible following a one-off £7.3 million Government grant and would see the Band D rate remain at £1,126.53.

There would be £115 million invested in projects such as the reorganisation of schools and delivering better broadband.

The authority is expected to cut another £26.9 million in 2013-14. The savings are a result of a 28 per cent reduction in its Government grant.

n Have you been affected by the cuts? Call 01284 757857 or email news@buryfreepress.co.uk

n Suffolk Police Authority’s Council Tax plans – Page 107