Rugby Borough budget set last night

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A THREE month free parking trial, a £1m fund to help young house buyers make a mortgage deposite and a freeze in council tax for the third year in a row were some of the announcements in last night’s council budget.

Other announcements included a £246,000 investment in connecting rual areas to broadband, a £200,000 deposite into the council’s reserves, a new apprenticeship scheme at the council and a £15,500 donation to Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty to support more apprenticeships. The free parking trial will take place at the council’s Newbold Road car park every Saturday and Sunday for three months starting from April in a bid to boost town centre trade.

Speaking at last night’s borough settlement meeting, delighted Conservative council leader Craig Humphrey said: “Last year was the most challenging year in living memory for the council. The setting of a balanced budget and council tax was a challenge for many councils up and down the country with some shying away from the task in hand and stoking up problems for the future.

“By being prudent and focused we are delivering growth, improving the facilities our residents enjoy and improving chances for our young people.”

He added: “A freeze in council tax for Rugby is unprecedented, a real term cut in taxation and I commend it to the chamber.”

All three party leaders commended the hard work of council officers over the past year.

To find out more about the council’s budget for 2012/13, see next week’s paper.