Rugby Borough Council will cut its share of the council tax in a one-off rebate worth three per cent, after setting its budget for the 2014/15 financial year.
The rebate comes in the fifth consecutive year that the council has frozen its tax bills, and means that residents have seen a reduction in their council tax of 20 per cent in real terms since 2010, taking inflation into account.
The rebate will be offered with no cuts to any council services, and there will be no staff redundancies as a result.
Also announced in the council’s budget, set at a meeting of the full council held last night (Tuesday), were:
The council will organise commemorative events marking the centenary of the start of World War One. Parking fees will be waived in council car parks during these events.
Thanks to behind the scenes negotiations, the borough has been included as a world cup venue for the Rugby World Cup even though it is not hosting any events; we are therefore expecting many more visitors to the birthplace of the game and will prepare accordingly.
£17,500 will be provided to support the Coventry City Deal, which will support manufacturing jobs in the borough.
The council will continue with its apprenticeship scheme, and will explore ways to attract more young people to work for the council.
The council will once again underwrite the high-performing Rugby Borough Community Safety Partnership, in case the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner is unable to maintain historic funding levels.
Cllr Craig Humphrey, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “While some parts of the public sector have struggled to make the savings that are needed, we have identified substantial savings whilst making our services far more responsive to the needs of both residents and businesses.
“This means that we are now in a position where the only cuts we are making are to the council tax.
“I have always said that we will not take any risks with council finances, and nor will we ask residents to pay any more than absolutely necessary to provide the services that they need and want. Never before has a local authority in this area been in a position where it can give money back to hard working families within the borough.
“As Brandon Lewis, local government Secretary, recently remarked: Rugby is proof that you can save taxpayers money, protect front line services, and keep council tax down.”
The rebate will mean that the Borough Basic Band D council tax bill will reduce by £3.83, to £123.84. Parish Councils also charge a council tax parish precept, and the borough council charges an additional “special expense” to town area residents for specific services.
Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police have already announced that they are to increase their tax bills by almost two per cent. Warwickshire County Council’s share of the bill makes up around 76.2 per cent of the total council tax bill, for expensive services such as highways, older people’s care and education.