Chesterfield council tax freeze

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CHESTERFIELD Borough Council is set to freeze its council tax for the coming year.

The decision follows a consultation exercise with residents after the Council had initially considered a 3.5 per cent increase.

Cllr John Burrows, leader of the council, said: “We’ve had several weeks to debate this issue with residents and the feedback we’ve received over this time has been mixed. Some have agreed with the majority view expressed at the January Council Taxpayers Consultation event that we should implement a 3.5 per cent increase. Overall, however, people have told us they favour a freeze on Council Tax as many households are suffering financially.

“We were also told last week that local government workers will have their pay frozen for a third successive year, which will put more people under further financial hardship. With these factors in mind we have decided to accept the Government’s offer of a Council Tax Freeze grant equivalent to a 2.5 per cent increase in exchange for our freezing the Council Tax for 2012/13.

“This has been an interesting debate on the doorstep. A 3.5% increase in Council Tax for most Chesterfield households equates to an extra 6p to 9p per week. It would also add an extra £45,000 in 2012/13 and an extra £160,000 per year thereafter to our budgets for spending on Council services. However, as household bills are increasing all the time, we believe it would be unfair to put further pressure on households at this time.”

The proposed Council Tax freeze will now go to a meeting of the Full Council on March 1 for final approval.