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Cabinet back proposal to freeze council tax for second year

Residents of Herefordshire look set to benefit from a second year’s freeze on council tax after members of Herefordshire Council’s cabinet passed the proposal when they met today (Thursday, January 19).

The proposal will now go to full council for approval when it meets on Friday, February 3 and will then be finally signed off when council meets to set the council tax for 2012/13 on Friday, March 2.

This is very different to last year’s council tax freeze that came about after the government agreed to pay a grant for four years to local authorities willing to forgo a council tax increase.

This year’s one-off grant stands at £2.16 million (equivalent to a 2.5 per cent increase in council tax), but does not include any increases in parish and town council precepts.

Government has not specified where this money must be spent – so Herefordshire Council intends to use it to fund fundamental reviews of its services which will provide long-term savings through sustainable budget reductions.

“This is good news for people in Herefordshire,” said Councillor John Jarvis, leader of the council.
“We’re acutely aware of how the economic recession is hitting families and, just like households are having to pull in the purse strings, so we are taking steps to make sure we can deliver quality services within our means.

“Furthermore, by using the government grant wisely, we can secure savings in the way we deliver services year on year – so the one-off government grant will have a legacy which benefits local council tax payers for many years to come.”