Rye Council looks at reducing its part of the Council Tax

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RYE council tax payers could find themselves paying less this year with the Town Council looking to make a small reduction.

Originally the proposal was for a 1.95 percent increase which would have meant a £1.23 increase a year for the average Band D property owner.

But when the Town Council’s policy committee sat on Monday evening councillors argued that savings could be made which would lead to a slight reduction in the charge.

Led by Cllr Ian Potter, they voted to remove the council’s £1,500 contingency fund, claiming there was enough money in the reserves to cover unforeseen expenses.

But some charities and good causes may miss out with the committee also voting to cut the grant fund from £10,000 to £7,500.

The Policy Committee is recommending a total precept of £107,775 for 2014-15. This would bring the Band D Council Tax down from £63.32pa to £62.24 - a reduction of 1.7%.

This in contrast with Battle Town Council which has already voted to impose a charge increase of just over nine percent.

Cllr Potter said: “We have money ear-marked that we may never use.

“It is our duty to be completely open and make savings where we can in order to avoid increasing the charge.”

The revised draft budget is being reworked by the Town Clerk and will be going back to Council on February 10.

Overall tax payers are facing a likely increase with East Sussex County Council considering raising its portion of the overall council tax for the first time in four years in the face of having to make £110 million budget cuts in the 10 years to 2020.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is also considering increasing its precept of the council tax by 1.94 percent for 2014/15.

The other precept comes from Sussex Police.