Council tax set to increase to protect front line services

Cllr. John Clark, FDC leader Alan Melton and Cllr. Michael Humphreys with the customer service excel

Cllr. John Clark, FDC leader Alan Melton and Cllr. Michael Humphreys with the customer service excellence award. - Credit: Archant

COUNCIL tax is set to increase by 1.68 per cent this year.

Fenland District Council has approved the council tax rise, which will help compensate for the £1.25million cut in funding they are faced with over the next two years.

The increase, which equates to £4.05, applies to Band D properties.

Councillor John Clark, Portfolio Holder for Quality, Organisation, Finance and Performance Management, said: “It gets more and more difficult to find these savings without affecting our front line services.

“We are well placed to meet the challenges that we face but the decisions in doing so get more and more difficult.

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“Raising the council tax was not an easy decision but to protect front line services and keep the streets clean we need to do it.”

Cllr Clark announced to council that 2012/13 came in on budget with £1.082million savings, but funding has fallen from £17.3million in 2009-10 to £14.6million.

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The council faces a shortfall of four per cent in 2013/14 and 12.9 per cent in 2014/15.

Several councillors spoke out in support of the council tax increase.

Councillor Simon King said: “It is a difficult decision to make because an awful lot of people have not had a pay increase in four years but I will support the budget.”

Councillor Fred Yeulett added: “To be able to support people we need to have money. We can’t work with diminishing returns. We need to strike a balance and Cllr Clark has struck that balance.”

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