Surprise budget U-turn leads to tax freeze for town council section of bill for St Neots residents

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 February 2014

There has been a surprise freeze of the town council section of the tax bill for St Neots residents.

There has been a surprise freeze of the town council section of the tax bill for St Neots residents.

Archant

St Neots residents can expect the town council section of their Council Tax bill to be frozen for the coming year, after a surprise turnaround.

A 1.8 per cent increase in St Neots Town Council’s bill to the people of the town had been expected, but Eaton Socon councillor Roger Harrison said the ­council had been able to adjust the figure after further analysis.

He said the precept had been set at £867,148 for 2014/15. For a Band D ­property, this works out at £84.23, a saving of about £1.50 on the council’s previous figures.

Cllr Harrison said: “This has been made possible by continuing to look at our figures carefully, identifying further efficiencies and savings, as well as taking an updated view on our end-of-year out-turn for this year.

“We expect to have a surplus of £85,000 this year due to efficiencies put into place last year and this year, as well as some unexpected salary savings.”

He said many of the savings had been made after the loss of two members of staff last year and carrying out many duties in-house, such as organising the Christmas lights and grave digging.

Cllr Harrison said: “It’s crazy in this climate with the country being the way it is to take money out of residents’ bank accounts and put it into reserves.

“Although the economy is on the mend it will take some time yet for the ordinary hard-working families of the town to fully benefit from this.

“We are, therefore, proud that we are able to say we have pulled out every stop, left no stone unturned and will deliver everything we have in the past at no extra cost to the taxpayers and residents of St Neots.”

A motion to freeze the Council Tax precept was passed unanimously on Tuesday night last week.

Huntingdonshire District Council has also frozen its section of the bill but Cambridgeshire County Council, which collects the largest part of the money raised from Council Tax, has agreed a 1.99 per cent rise.

Band D property owners can expect to be billed about £1,600 in 2014/15, but the final amount depends on where you live in the district.

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