Council Tax increase still gives good value for money’

PUBLISHED: 11:34 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 May 2010

NORTH Herts District Council has approved a Council Tax increase of 4.58 per cent. The increase is the overall amount which takes into consideration rises by the district council and Herts County Council, and the Herts Police Authority. It will mean a Ba

NORTH Herts District Council has approved a Council Tax increase of 4.58 per cent.

The increase is the overall amount which takes into consideration rises by the district council and Herts County Council, and the Herts Police Authority.

It will mean a Band D property will cost more than £1,400 over the next 12 months compared with about £1,342 for the past year.

Cllr Terry Hone, the district council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance, said he believed the increase "represents good value for money".

In Royston, the cost of a Band D property when the Royston Town Council precept is added will cost £1,433.73.

Some 77 per cent of the Council Tax spending relates to the cost of county council service, 13 per cent for the district council and 10 per cent to police.

When the county council's Council Tax increase was announced last week, Cllr David Lloyd, executive member for performance and resources, said the setting of the budget had been "challenging".

He said the county council had to "balance the books" in spite of not receiving "the necessary support from the Government".

But Cllr Lloyd said that in the end the county council's budget was "prudent and forward-thinking".

The county council, he said, had managed to produce £18 million worth of efficiency savings.

But he was critical, too, of the Government's decision to give inadequate grant increases and increasing such burdens as a rise of £3.8 million in landfill tax.

Cllr Lloyd said, however, that the county council had earmarked extra spending of £10 million on highways maintenance and restored the capital building schemes for schools which had to be abandoned last year due to the Government's policy borrowing for school buildings.

Speaking about the district council's increase, Cllr Hone said: "We are improving value for money for the Council Tax payer by saving costs on under-used services and targeting our money where it will provide the most benefit.

"Despite another tight settlement from central Government, we have maintained our policy of limiting Council Tax increases," he said.

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