The big freeze for St Albans council taxpayers
PUBLISHED: 06:33 04 November 2013
The first step in fixing next year’s council tax is being taken by St Albans council which is on track to freeze its share of the 2014/15 bill.
At a meeting of the council’s cabinet last week it was agreed to recommend a budget that would peg its 11.5 per cent element of overall council tax.
To meet that target, the cabinet is proposing savings amounting to £1 million – but not staff cuts.
It takes into account a grant available to councils that freeze their council tax and also reflects likely inflation, cost pressures and early indications of reductions in funding from central government.
If the budget is agreed at next month’s meeting of full council, it will be the sixth year in a row that the district council precept has been frozen.
Resources portfolio holder, Cllr Alec Campbell, said: “The council has worked hard to deliver savings of £1 million so that there is no increase in the district council’s element of council tax for 2014/15.”
He went on: “However, it is becoming harder and harder to identify savings to help balance the budget. With increasing cost pressures, inflation and indications of future cuts in government grants, we may not be able to freeze our element of council tax in future years. We will, of course, try our best to do so but it may not be possible.”
The largest share of council tax, 76p in the pound, is levied by the county council which runs services such as education and highways with 10p in the pound collected by the Herts Police Authority and 2.5p by town and parish councils.
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