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Wednesday 25 January 2012

Cheshire East proposes to freeze Council Tax bills

– despite austere economic times

The Leader of Cheshire East Council announced the Cabinet’s intention to freeze residents’ Council Tax bills for the second year running.

The decision comes despite the continued reductions in government grants, increasing cost pressures and potential changes to the Council’s funding arrangements.

Compared with the majority of English local authorities, Cheshire East Council will continue to provide good value for money, with low spending per head and a low reliance on government grants.

At a meeting of the Council’s ruling Conservative group, Cheshire East Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald proposed to freeze the authority’s Council Tax – which would be facilitated by a grant of £4.5m from central government.

Councillor Michael Jones, Cheshire East Cabinet member for resources, said: “This Council is committed to continuing to provide great value for money to the people of Cheshire East and I believe that everyone should pay a fair amount for the services they receive, including residents of Crewe and Macclesfield.

“Crewe and Macclesfield are the only unparished areas in the whole of Cheshire East and in view of this the Council, as the lead authority, will be levying a special expense on these towns from April of next year (2013). These charges will cover those services which are being carried out by parish and town councils in other areas that are parished.

“It would be more desirable for these communities to have their own town councils in place so they can have representatives, appointed directly via the ballot box, to take responsibility for their local services and assets and help shape their future use more effectively.

“There is near universal understanding that parish and town councils can provide services best suited to their local communities to give optimum impact on the local environment.

“Due to the proposed Council Tax freeze for the coming year, and to address the costs of the non-parished areas of Crewe and Macclesfield, Cheshire East Council will pay a grant to all parish and town councils, proportionate to the number of average Band D households within individual parishes.

“This means it is proposed that the people of Cheshire East will see no increase in their Borough portion of their Council Tax bills due from this April. This is great news for the people of Cheshire East in these tough economic times.”

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