Two-year freeze for bor­ough tax­pay­ers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Council Tax Special -

by Sa­man­tha Wil­liams chal­leng­ing grant set­tle­ments from cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

“How­ever, we have been fi­nan­cially pru­dent and in­no­va­tive, thus en­abling us to keep Ash­ford’s coun­cil tax one of the low­est in the coun­try.

“This has seen us in­tro­duce our re­cy­cling ser­vice across the bor­ough, con­tinue to do all we can to en­able the bor­ough’s big­gest re­gen­er­a­tion plans to move for­ward, in­vest in our town cen­tre, and con­tinue to lead the way with build­ing much-needed hous­ing.

“In­deed, freez­ing coun­cil tax has be­come a vi­able op­tion be­cause of the an­nounce­ment about new homes bonus in the chan­cel­lor’s au­tumn state­ment. It has also been made pos­si­ble be­cause of gov­ern­ment mak­ing coun­cils that freeze coun­cil tax el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive a grant equiv­a­lent to a one per cent rise.”

Last year (2013/14), ABC opted to in­crease the por­tion of coun­cil tax they re­ceive by 3.6%, in­creas­ing the av­er­age bill by £5 a year.

The coun­cil was al­lowed to in­crease above the 2% limit set by cen­tral gov­ern­ment with­out hold­ing a ref­er­en­dum as it was within 25% of dis­trict coun­cils with the low­est coun­cil tax across the coun­try.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­group.co.uk

Ash­ford Coun­cil leader Cllr Gerry Clark­son

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