St Albans district council tax precept frozen again

St Albans Museum.

St Albans Museum. - Credit: Archant

With overall council tax bills expected to rise next year, St Albans council is doing its bit to keep any increase down.

It is set to freeze its component of the district’s council tax for the eighth year in a row.

The St Albans council precept makes up 11.5 per cent of the district’s total council tax bill with the largest component, 76 per cent, levied by the county council which is responsible for such services as education, social services and highways.

To keep the district precept from rising, the council is making savings in excess of £700,000 from its budget next year. Measures include a mixture of increasing charges such as pre-planning application advice and savings such as a reduction in the costs of the Mayoralty including the official car and civic expenses.

As well as agreeing a budget, the council’s cabinet set out priority projects for the next five years which include the conversion of the Town Hall into a museum and art gallery and the redevelopment of the former museum site in Hatfield Road.

In addition, two issues have emerged in recent months with financial implications for the council - support for residents affected by the sinkhole in Fontmell Close, St Albans, and the settling of 10 Syrian refugees a year in the district.

The council’s portfolio holder for resources, Councillor Alec Campbell, said: “I am pleased we are able to freeze the council tax precept for the eighth year in succession.

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“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to make savings while investing in improvements in customer services and planning.

“We are managing to run high-quality frontline public services and deliver on a range of major projects without making any rise in the precept.”