Public to be asked to choose between tax rise or services

Bexhill Town Hall ENGSUS00120130603131749
Bexhill Town Hall ENGSUS00120130603131749

Pay more Council Tax or risk losing some local services - that is the stark choice facing Rye and Battle area residents.

Rother District Council is canvassing opinion from across the district as to whether the cash-strapped local authority should raise its part of the Council Tax or freeze it for the fifth year running.

Council Tax makes up over half the income Rother gets to provide services. The remainder is made up from a grant from central government.

But that grant is down from 60 percent in previous years, meaning RDC has to plug the gap to be able to deliver mandatory services.

Rother has already saved £3.8m, with cost-saving measures including cutting its workforce by 27 percent and freezing staff pay for three years.

But the council says it has to cut costs even further, due to the continuing shortfall in government funds.

Rother says it has to choose between freezing the tax or implementing an increase of just under two percent.

Central government caps all local authority rises at two percent.