It’s the Big Freeze in East Cambs - but this one will warm your pockets as council makes it five years in a row for ZERO increase
PUBLISHED: 18:52 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:52 23 February 2018
Council leader pronounced he was “incredibly proud” after councillors agreed to freeze council tax for the fifth successive years.
Councillor Charles Roberts of East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “I am incredibly proud that we are one of the few councils in the country with a balanced budget for the next two years and we are able to support our residents by freezing council tax for another year. “We are a can-do council with a strong vision and the ambition to make East Cambridgeshire a great place to live, work and visit.” His deputy. Councillor Anna Bailey said: “We are different, and I want us to continue to be different.
“I believe it is possible, in the right hands, and with the right focus and effort, to keep delivering zero rises into the future.”
Councillors voted in favour of keeping the district council’s portion of council tax the same for the year 2018/19.
The report to full council also states that “proactive actions” have led to a balanced budget for 2018/19 and 2019/20, without any cuts to frontline services.
Cllr Roberts said the tax freeze is part of their wider corporate plan which details promises including bringing waste and recycling services into their new trading arm, East Cambs Street Scene Ltd by April 2018
He said the council was looking forward to the opening of other new leisure centre ‘The Hive’, as well as continuing to develop Community Land Trusts within the district.
Cllr Bailey said: “Opposition Liberal Democrats offered no alternative ideas to the budget. “Giving little or no explanation, all three Liberal Democrat members voted against freezing council tax, against the 2018/19 budget as a whole and against the capital programme.”
“We are the smallest of the five second tier authorities in Cambridgeshire and I truly believe we are punching well above our weight. It’s true, small is beautiful!”
She said: “We must keep looking for efficiencies and we must keep attracting new businesses to the district, to provide high quality jobs and increase business rates income in the area.
“We must also forge ahead and be ambitious with our commercial activities.
“There are exciting opportunities for this Council in our trading activities and they are integral to our success and ability to keep fees and charges and council tax as low as possible.
“All other Cambridgeshire district councils and Cambridge City Council are raising council tax again this year and all have council tax rises built into their medium term forecasts, which ours does not.”