Council votes for a tax freeze

Bexhill Town Hall the headquarters of Rother District Council
Bexhill Town Hall the headquarters of Rother District Council

Residents will not be asked to contribute more towards services provided by Rother District Council - but services could now be at risk.

For the fifth year running, councillors approved a budget that will see no increase in the district council’s share of council tax – with the bill for a Band D property staying at £161.19 a year.

Cllr Carl Maynard, council leader, said: “We continue to face financial pressures as a council, but realise that our residents also have to make ends meet in these difficult times.

“We don’t want to add to their burden by increasing our share of the council tax, particularly when we have identified other ways of balancing the books.”

With a reduction in government funding of more than 13 per cent compared to last year, Rother will need to make savings to deliver a balanced budget for 2015/16.

At a meeting on Monday, councillors were asked to consider two options for the 2015/16 budget.

The first included no increase in council tax with a council tax freeze grant or £73,000 and unidentified savings of £33,450. The second option was an increase in council tax of 1.9 per cent which would deliver £109,000 and reduce the unidentified savings target to nil.

Cllr Maynard said: “We will have some difficult decisions to make to realise the unidentified savings the budget requires, but we want to assure residents that we will do everything we can to avoid impacting on frontline services provided by the council.”

Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire Authority and East Sussex County Council have already voted to increase their portion of the council tax for 2015/16.