South Norfolk council tax bonus
South Norfolk residents are to be spared a council tax rise for district services.The Tory run district council said it was freezing council tax levels for the next financial year.
South Norfolk residents are to be spared a council tax rise for district services.
The Tory run district council said it was freezing council tax levels for the next financial year.
Council leader John Fuller, whose party was swept to power last year, said the authority was one of only a handful in the country proposing a 0pc increase and said the move was part of an election commitment to be more businesslike and efficient.
The freeze means the annual band D Council Tax bill in 2008/2009 just for South Norfolk Council services, remains at last year's level of £127.52 a year.
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Other moves put forward in the budget, which will be considered by the cabinet on February 11 include: eliminating the backlog of 15 months for aids and adaptations, so the elderly and infirm can remain in their own homes, a commitment to sponsor 2012 Olympic hopefuls in the district and encouraging them to help other youngsters to fulfil their potential, establishing a new South Norfolk Festival of the Arts, refurbishing and increasing the number of mini recycling centres, and making it easier for those in towns to compost via an expanded brown bins garden waste scheme.
There will also be £1m to maintain and refurbish the council's leisure centres, closer working with the police to tackle yob behaviour, and strengthening the council's planning team.
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Mr Fuller insisted the budget was a “dividend” for residents at a time when other household bills were rising.
“We are not a business, but being more business-like has meant that we have been able to get a firmer grip on the finances to get better value for money for residents,” Mr Fuller said. “But that doesn't mean cuts. At the same time we're putting more resources into important areas like recycling, tackling anti-social behaviour, the arts and making life easier for the elderly and infirm.”
Murray Gray, leader of the Lib Dem opposition welcomed the move, but noted the Tories were taking £800,000 out of the council reserves and seeking savings of £413,000.
“This is good news for council tax payers and reflects the sound financial position left by the Lib Dem administration,” he said. “We will need to study the figures to make sure it doesn't unduly impact on services.”