Council Tax Information
Council tax and financial information
Councillor James Waters, Leader of Forest Heath District Council
For the fourth year running we have frozen Forest Heath's share of your council tax so you will not be paying any more for services.
The Government is cutting our funding by 49% over two years but we all know these are tough financial times. We are working with people and organisations to do things differently so Forest Heath becomes less dependent on Government money. That is why we are making sure we have a strong local economy with a good range of jobs, and everything that needs to go with them, such as homes and schools. Forest Heath works closely with our local businesses to support and help them grow, and we look to attract new companies because we have a huge amount to offer here in West Suffolk.
We also need people to see what they can do for themselves and others around them instead of calling on the council because that not only builds a real sense of community, through looking out for each other, but also helps to keep council costs - and your council tax - down. We will be consulting you about the services which you really value and how we can work together to make sure we continue to live within our means.
Through sharing the costs of services with neighbouring St Edmundsbury Borough Council we are already saving £3.5 million a year. By building on this strong track record we can support you to make the best possible future for yourselves.
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Suffolk
A major part of my role as your Police and Crime Commissioner is to distribute the policing grants from central government and set the policing part of your council tax. This means I am responsible for setting the budget, which includes determining the police component of your council tax, and deciding how it should be spent.
Last year I fulfilled my election pledge and froze the precept during my first year of office and this year I will do the same, making this the second year has been no increase in the amount Suffolk residents pay for policing in the county. Not increasing the precept will add to the financial challenge that we face within the Constabulary, but I feel it is important that we do not place any additional burden on you the council taxpayer. Suffolk Constabulary does a great job for the people of Suffolk. Suffolk is a low-cost force and I believe it offers great value for money. Over the past five years the Constabulary has delivered substantial savings and I am pleased to report that we are on track to achieve the savings required.
The Constabulary is already planning to implement savings proposals of £2.3m in 2014/15 rising to £6.1m in 2017-18 and is committed to developing plans to deliver further savings of £326k in 2014-15, rising to £10.4m in 2017-18. My job is to ensure this is done without adversely impacting on the service that the council taxpayer in Suffolk expects and deserves. Freezing the policing element of the council tax this year means that the average amount paid by every household in Suffolk remains continued overleaf at £166.77 a year which is just £3.20 a week (based on a Band D property). In freezing the policing precept, I will accept the freeze grant from the Government, which equates to a 1% increase and adds £390K to the annual budget without increasing the council tax.
My role is to ensure the policing needs of our communities are met as effectively as possible, bringing communities closer to the police and building confidence in the system. My job is to listen and respond to the needs of the people of Suffolk; bringing more of a public voice to policing. If you have an issue that you would like to raise, please contact me via the website, http://www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk/ or call 01473 782777.
|More information on Suffolk Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and how it spends your money (PDF 217Kb)|
Councillor Mark Bee, Leader of Suffolk County Council
We all face tough decisions about how to pay the bills and make our money stretch. It's no different at Suffolk County Council. We are faced with having to make savings of around £156million over the next four years at a time when the demand for our services is steadily going up. Despite this unprecedented challenge, my colleagues and I are determined to minimise the impact of the savings on services which people depend on. We're also committed to ensuring there is no increase in our portion of your council tax bill for the next four years. We believe that households are under enough pressure already. Following our widest ever consultation, the 2014/15 budget reflects what you told us was important to you. It also includes a number of new ways of working aimed at saving money, while ensuring that vital services are safeguarded. For example, late last year we made an agreement with Norfolk County Council to work together in delivering some services in the future. At the same time, we have transferred our highways services to Kier MG, who can deliver them in a more cost effective way and have brought in new investment.
From June this year, our ICT, Finance, HR and Public Access services will come back in house, saving us in the region of £9million. Furthermore, the Energy from Waste plant at Great Blakenham opens in December and is expected to deliver an £8million saving per year. We are also pushing forward on a number of vitally important and exciting projects, like the Raising the Bar education programme, which focuses on improving educational attainment for young people across Suffolk.
Equally, it's full speed ahead on delivering on our Better Broadband project. An additional 11,000 homes already have access to faster broadband since work began in August 2013. By the end of 2015, an additional 100,000 homes and businesses will have improved access. Meanwhile, work is progressing quickly on the development of 10 new, state-of-the-art care homes across Suffolk. Our partnership with Care UK has secured a £60million investment and ensures that we are able to meet the growing need for specialist dementia care. Over the course of the next 12 months, we will continue to face challenges head on, focusing our efforts in the areas that you value the most whilst ensuring we get as much as possible from every pound we spend on your behalf. Read all the financial information about how the Suffolk County Council portion of your council tax is calculated and spent at: www.suffolk.gov.uk/counciltax2014