County council set to approve lowest ever Council Tax rise

Staffordshire, like the rest of the country, is facing a challenging time ahead as we battle our way out of recession.
I understand that families, couples and individuals are tightening their belts and that every penny counts.

The Conservatives’ manifesto pledge at the elections in June reflected these troubled times. We vowed to improve services in key areas while keeping council tax as low as possible, which is why we are making the recommendation to bring in the lowest rise since council tax was introduced in 1993.Cash

We are putting forward an increase of 1.9 per cent, giving tax payers in the county the second lowest council tax rate of all county councils. In real terms, this means that a family living in a Band D property will pay 37p a week more for their services.

We reached this figure after consulting with a wide range of people on what our budget priorities should be and believe that this figure strikes just the right balance. A below inflation rise means council tax should not unduly add to the strain on the budgets of most families, including the elderly and vulnerable groups.

I am aware that we are still struggling with the affects of the economic slump. But to reduce council tax further would mean we could not keep our manifesto promise to raise standards in schools, improve care for the elderly and invest in roads.

Cabinet will consider the recommendation on Wednesday February 3. Full Council will be asked to approve a final budget on Thursday February 11.

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