Rother freeze tax for the fifth year

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Rother District Council has frozen its council tax for the fifth year running.

They approved a budget that will see no increase in the district council’s share of council tax – with the bill for a Band D property staying at £161.19 a year.

“We continue to face financial pressures as a council, but realise that our residents also have to make ends meet in these difficult times,” said Cllr Carl Maynard, council leader.

“We don’t want to add to their burden by increasing our share of the council tax, particularly when we have identified other ways of balancing the books.”

With a reduction in government funding of more than 13 per cent compared to last year, Rother District Council will need to make savings to deliver a balanced budget for 2015/16.

Councillors were asked to consider two options for the 2015/16 budget.

The first included no increase in council tax with a council tax freeze grant or £73,000 and unidentified savings of £33,450. The second option was an increase in council tax of 1.9 per cent which would deliver £109,000 and reduce the unidentified savings target to nil.

Cllr Maynard said: “We will have some difficult decisions to make to realise the unidentified savings the budget requires, but we want to assure residents that we will do everything we can to avoid impacting on frontline services provided by the council.

“We believe we can further increase our revenue by encouraging and supporting growth in local business, and we will continue to look into these opportunities.”

He added: “Balancing a budget of more than £11million is never an easy task.”