THERE was some respite for hard hit tax payers this week when East Sussex County Council announced it would be freezing its section of the council tax.
The council has opted to take a Government grant which will allow it to cover the cost of the freeze.
In addition the council has approved an investment programme for the next four years worth nearly £500 million.
The decisions were taken at the county council’s main budget meeting last week.
County council leader Peter Jones, said: “I am extremely pleased we are providing a massive building programme - a once in a lifetime opportunity for our economy, and at the same time helping our residents by keeping a lid on Council Tax.
“We’re able to do this because we’ve managed our finances well and have not ducked out of making tough decisions.”
Commenting on the Council Tax decision, Deputy Leader, and Rye county councillor Keith Glazier said: “We know household budgets are extremely tight and every pound counts - so we’ve taken up the Government’s offer and frozen our part of the council tax bill for the second year running.
“I’m sure the decision will be appreciated by people right across East Sussex.
“The decision means that for an average band D council tax payer, their 2012/13 bill for county council services will stay at £1,158.30 - the same as it was in 2010/11.
“We have had to economise and find some £19m of savings to balance the books but we are protecting our core priorities. “
Keith Glazier said he was also delighted that the council had given its thumbs-up to a four-year, multi-million pound building programme for growth.
He said: “We have got the green light to proceed with our planned development programme which is really great news and will certainly help to stimulate our local economy”.
For further information visit the East Sussex County Council’s website at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/about/committees and click on ‘Full Council - 7 February’, or watch the budget debate on webcast.