Councillors vote to gradually phase out grants for parish and town councils

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News from the Bury Free Press
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A grant to help parish and town councils is to be gradually cut and phased out, St Edmundsbury Borough councillors have agreed.

Members of the authority voted to reduce the Council Tax Support Grant for parish and town councils by 25 per cent each year starting in 2014/15 as well as the Parish Revenue Grant Scheme.

The plans were drawn up due to the ‘significant financial challenges’ St Edmundsbury is expected to face with savings of £1.7 million targeted for 2015/16, according to a report.

This year the council tax support grant paid was set at £168,000 with £127,575 available through the Parish Revenue Grant Scheme.

Savings from the first two years of the parish revenue scheme will go into a pot for rural projects.

Cllr Maureen Byrne called for the decision to be deferred as she felt there had been no consultation but her amendment was defeated.

Cllr David Ray, cabinet member for resources, said councils had been told about the move.

He said: “We’re letting them down gently by a 25 per cent reduction over four years. I think four years is an incredibly generous time.”