St Albans council tax pegged again

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

Most council tax payers in the St Albans district will find no rise in their annual charge when bills are sent out next month.

Herts county council (HCC), which takes the lion’s share of money raised from council tax, is pegging its share for the fifth year in a row.

And with St Albans council and the Herts Police Authority pledged to keep their precepts at last year’s level, many people will find themselves facing the same bill as last year.

HCC, which takes 76p in the £ from council tax bills, agreed on Tuesday to continue freezing its share of council tax. It is responsible for a range of services from schools and social care to fire and rescue and maintenance of highways.

Cabinet member for resources, Cllr Derrick Ashley, said the figure had been achieved, “despite the difficult economic situation, national reductions in public sector spending and increasing pressures on our budget from inflation as well as the cost of meeting the many needs of Hertfordshire’s growing population.”

HCC made annual savings to the tune of £172 million by the end of 2014/15 while maintaining it has largely protected the range and quality of front-line services.

The savings have been achieved by reducing staff, restructuring the organisation, negotiating contract savings and reducing management costs.

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St Albans council announced in December that there would be no rise in its element of the council tax after reducing its budget by £1 million.

And in January Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said there would be no increase in the police authority precept for the fourth year running.

blob* Cllr Ashley also announced at Tuesday’s HCC meeting that it planned to release up to £1 million of contingency funding to respond to flood pressures, subject to agreement by the council’s cabinet in April.