Council tax rise of 4.5 per cent
COUNCIL Tax is set to increase by 4.5 per cent. The rise will be recommended to members of North Herts District Council on Wednesday evening. It will mean that the district council will be working on a budget of almost £17 million over the next 12 months.
COUNCIL Tax is set to increase by 4.5 per cent. The rise will be recommended to members of North Herts District Council on Wednesday evening. It will mean that the district council will be working on a budget of almost £17 million over the next 12 months. A report to the council says that the increase will mean a rise of 14 pence-a-week for a Band D property. The report continues that the council is expecting to make about £1.1 million savings in the next year. Herts County Council's Cabinet has recommended a Council Tax increase of 4.95 per cent to meet its £575.7 million budget. Cllr David Beatty, executive member for resources, said: "For the second year running we have been able to propose an increase of less than 5 per cent and put some additional money into services." The extra cash includes £10 million in highways maintenance which will see total spending to improve roads rise to £62.5 million. Some £600,000 extra will be spent on libraries so that opening hours can be extended. Cllr Beatty said the pressure on county council spending had meant that setting the budget had created an "enormous challenge". "The only way of keeping the rise in Council Tax as low as possible and achieving what is largely a standstill budget is by making efficiency savings of £15.2 million," said Cllr Beatty. In Cambridgeshire, the county council has increased its budget by 5 per cent. Cllr Keith Walter, the leader of the council, said: "While the 5 per cent increase was higher than we would have liked, going below this would have done untold damage to many of the council's services." Cllr Walters was critical of the Government giving the county council one of the lowest grant increases in the country. He said the 2.1 per cent rise was "well below what is required to maintain essential services". The Cambridgeshire Police Authority has agreed on a 4.98 per cent rise in the policing element of Council Tax. Chairman Michael William-son said the authority had been stretched in setting a "difficult budget".