VIDEO: Council tax set to increase in Cambridgeshire

Cllr Nick Clarke.

Cllr Nick Clarke. - Credit: Archant

COUNCIL tax will go up almost two per cent this year.

Cambridgeshire County Council have set the Band D level at £1,100 for 2013-4, a rise of 1.99 per cent from 2011-12.

Councillor Nick Clarke, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said the increase was necessary in light of continuing budgetary pressures.

He said: “We are doing what is best for Cambridge in tough economic times. We face the tough challenge of significant reductions to the total budget we have to spend on vital services to our rapidly growing population.

“People understand that savings need to be made. We carried out a You Choose survey and found four out of five people are prepared to pay at least two per cent more to help retain the services they value.”

The council tax increase will generate five million pounds but the council must still find £32 million worth of savings this year.

Cambridgeshire County Council was criticised earlier this month by MP Brandon Lewis, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, for rejecting a government Council Tax Freeze Grant and instead imposing an 2.95% increase in Council Tax for 2012-13.

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But Councillor Clarke said he had a positive exchange with Mr Lewis on the matter.

He said: “I talked to Brandon Lewis yesterday and he said you are the only leader in the country who has put forward a rational and cogent argument for increasing council tax.

“The government’s policy is right for councils with a high tax base but this is not the case in Cambridgeshire.

“Despite having the increased pressure we are under, our vision has remained the same- to do what is best for the people of Cambridgeshire, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

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