Council tax frozen in Rugby for sixth year

Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of Rugby Borough Council
Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of Rugby Borough Council

Rugby Borough Council has frozen its share of council tax bills for a sixth consecutive year, after the authority’s budget for 2015/16 was set on Tuesday night.

The freeze means that over the six-year period the council has saved tax payers just over 18 per cent, putting around £125 back in their pockets on average.

There will be no cuts to any council services, and there will be no staff redundancies as a result.

Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “Thanks to prudent financial management we are now in a position that other authorities can only dream of.

“Elsewhere we hear of cuts, redundancies and council tax increases, but we have done what’s right for Rugby and improved services while making them more efficient.”

But Cllr Claire Edwards, leader of the Labour group, said freezing council tax may not be sustainable.

“It sounds good on the face of it, but the long term underlying issue is that we are not paying our way, and we have to be very careful about the implications of that,” she said.

The council tax freeze comes a year after a one-off rebate of three per cent. It means that the borough’s basic Band D council tax bill will remain at £127.67 for the year - or less than 8.5 per cent of the total bill.

Parish councils also charge a council tax parish precept, and the borough council charges an equivalent “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 nearly two per cent.

Warwickshire County Council’s share of the bill now makes up around 80 per cent of the total council tax bill, for services such as highways, social care and education.

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