Council set to discuss possible council tax standstill

WEALDEN residents can look forward to a part of their council tax bill being frozen next year.

Wealden District Council will be consulting on its proposed council tax freeze before a final decision is made by the council on February 15.

It will mean the Wealden element of residents’ total council tax bill will remain at £174.06 for an average Band D property for the third year in a row, the equivalent of £3.35 a week.

This helps pay for services including kerbside recycling collections, public health and environmental protection, planning service, housing support, leisure centres and benefits for people with limited means.

The budget does not allow for a general pay increase for council staff nor an increase in councillors’ allowances.

It will be the third year that staff have had no general pay rise and the fourth year allowances have been frozen.

There will be provision in the budget for the council’s lowest paid staff to receive a small increase in line with Government policy.

Council leader Bob Standley said, “Thanks to Government support for those councils which limit expenditure rises to below 2.5 per cent, we are able to propose a zero council tax increase for 2012/13 which I am sure will be very welcome.

“The additional support from the Coalition Government is however only for one year, with the challenge that will give when budgeting for 2013/14.

“However we are doing our part in helping reduce the national deficit and launched our transformation programme nearly three years ago.

“When fully implemented it will deliver savings of more than £3 million a year while maintaining key services.”