Have your say on Rother budget proposals

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Have your say on Rother budget proposals

Residents in Rother are being asked to have their say on budget proposals which could see council tax increase for the first time in six years.

Rother District Council is considering raising council tax by 1.94 per cent to help offset savings required due to continued Government funding cuts.

The proposal would see the district council's element of the council tax bill go up by £3.13 a year - or 26p a month - for a Band D property, generating an extra £115,200.

The council has seen a reduction in Government funding of £4.6 million, or 68 per cent, since 2011, with savings made as a result including cutting staffing costs by £2.6 million.

However, faced with having to make a further £3 million savings by 2020, the authority says increasing council tax could help towards protecting some frontline services, although the scale of the funding cuts means considerable savings would still have to be made.

Residents are being asked to take part in a public consultation on the proposals, which runs until Tuesday, February 16 2016.

Cllr Lord Ampthill, cabinet member for finance, resources and value for money, said: "We've made huge savings and reduced staffing levels dramatically over the past five years, while managing to freeze council tax.

"We've done everything possible to cut costs, but we're facing a continued funding squeeze, and raising council tax could be a way of ensuring we can continue to deliver the level of services people expect.

"Rother has the lowest level of council tax in East Sussex, and we expect this to continue to be the case, whether or not there is an increase.

"Asking people to pay more of their hard-earned money is not something we take lightly, and before we make a decision, we're very keen to hear what people in Rother have to say."

The proposed district council budget of £12.3 million includes savings from 2015-16 of more than £235,000 in running costs and £350,000 saved as the result of the switch to a new leisure services contract which now costs the taxpayer nothing.

The results of the consultation will be taken into account when the budget proposals are debated at meetings of cabinet and full council next month.

People can view the proposals and have their say online at www.rother.gov.uk/consultation

Anyone who would like to ask questions or submit detailed answers can do so by emailing consultations@rother.gov.uk or writing to Draft Budget Consultation, Service Manager, Finance and Welfare, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill, East Sussex, TN39 3JX.

Published on Monday, January 18 2016

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