St Edmundsbury Borough Council plans to freeze council tax

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St Edmundsbury Borough Council is to freeze its share of council tax for the fourth consecutive year.

The authority has proposed the move after the Government offered to again subsidise all councils which agree to a tax freeze.

It has frozen council tax for five out of the last six years with an increase of 1.9 per cent in 2010/11.

However, a report to the council’s cabinet, which is due to discuss the measure on Tuesday, noted that ‘accepting successive years’ council tax freeze grants provides only a short term solution and has a cumulative detrimental impact on the council’s finances as year on year council tax levels fail to rise in line with inflation’.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of the council, said feeezing council tax ‘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’.

With a 48 per cent cut in Government funding over the next two years, St Edmundsbury has made £3.5 million in savings through shared services with Forest Heath District Council and a further £417,000 local savings.

Cllr Griffiths added: “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.”