Arun council tax freeze set to continue

COUNCIL tax in the Arun district looks set to be frozen for the third year running.

Arun District Council’s cabinet is expected to formally approve the freeze when it meets on Monday, with the decision set to be ratified when full council debates the annual budget on February 20.

This will mean for an average Band D home, the district’s share of the council tax will remain at £161.37 a year – equivalent to just over £3 a week – with many households paying less.

Gillian Brown, leader of the council, said: “Despite the financial pressures we face, we recognise that this helps the local community at a time when most people are feeling the impact of financial pressures.”

Government funding to enable Arun to freeze its council tax will be less in the coming year than the present year, but the council has been able to achieve the goal by making significant savings and efficiencies. And more cuts and savings will be needed, as Government funding for 2014/15 looks set to reduce.

Mrs Brown said that because the Government’s grant formula was reducing, it would be “inevitable” that Arun would need to find further savings going forward.

She added: “However, we are a very stable, financially prudent authority. We are well placed to meet the challenges that will come in the next few years and we will continue to protect frontline services and jobs wherever possible and look at more efficient ways of working to make every penny of taxpayers’ money work for their benefit.”

West Sussex County Council, which takes the lion’s share of council tax bills, has already announced a freeze for the coming year.