Squeezed from above but local tax is frozen frozenuncil tax is frozen

Eastbourne Town Hall, Grove Road, after extensive external works. September 19th 2013 E38073P
Eastbourne Town Hall, Grove Road, after extensive external works. September 19th 2013 E38073P

Council tax in Eastbourne looks set to be frozen for the fourth year in a row with no impact on front line services.

Members of Eastbourne Borough Council’s decision making cabinet committee this week recommended no increase in the authority’s element of the council tax bill resulting in an unaltered Band D property charge of £224.19.

The final decision on whether to approve the budget will be made at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday February 19.

Councillor Gill Mattock, the portfolio holder for finance, said, “Despite further cuts in central government funding for Eastbourne, the council’s new way of delivering services has led to significant efficiency savings of more than £600,000. In addition, the council will receive a new homes bonus of £897,000 in 2014/15 due to the increase of new homes in the area.”

If approved, the budget will also see council reserves set at £3.8million, against a minimum level of £2million, which will act as a buffer against risks but will also create further opportunities for future investments.

Council leader David Tutt said, “As in previous years, the government has reduced the amount of money that they provide to the council receives to deliver key services.

“This has presented real challenges however, due to our prudential planning and the efficient way the council operates, we can recommend a freeze in council tax while maintaining front line services.

“Our proactive work to tackle areas such as homelessness and poverty will continue hand in hand with schemes to improve the local economy and develop thriving local communities”.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s element of the overall council tax bill equates to 14 per cent. The East Sussex County Council proportion is the largest at 73 per cent and in 2013/14 amounted to £1158.13 for a Band D property. Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service account for the remaining elements of council tax.