Council tax payers face 3.5 per cent increase

PUBLISHED: 13:02 03 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

WITH St Albans District Council aiming to have no increase in its share of the council tax this year, local people can expect an overall rise of below four per cent. Herts County Council, which accounts for the lion s share of council tax, is being recomm

WITH St Albans District Council aiming to have no increase in its share of the council tax this year, local people can expect an overall rise of below four per cent.

Herts County Council, which accounts for the lion's share of council tax, is being recommended to agree a 3.5 per cent increase.

The district council's cabinet, which is meeting tonight (Tuesday), is to recommend a zero per cent increase in its share while the size of the increase in the police precept is still unknown.

The Lib-Dem-run district council maintains that it can achieve a zero increase without damaging frontline services or staff redundancies.

As well as freezing the council tax demand, council leader Robert Donald said they were also looking at other practical assistance for local residents.

That includes offering advice to those who are unable to make rent payments or meet council tax bills and ensuring that residents entitled to housing benefit know how to claim.

He added: "We are also seeking to freeze charges in many areas, one of which is that we are freezing the rents this year for market stallholders. We will also be asking parish councils who set their own council tax to keep any increases to a minimum."

The county council, which has £28 million "frozen" in crashed Icelandic banks, maintains its increase is a fair deal for the people of Herts with more than £17.4 million proposed in efficiency savings to strike a balance between maintaining services and keeping the council tax rise to a minimum.

Herts is one of four authorities which received the lowest rise in Government grant of 1.75 per cent even though the 11 other local authorities in the country with responsibility for the fire service as well received an average increase of 3.95 per cent.

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