Ipswich Tories attempt to freeze local council tax

Here Ipswich Spy reports that Ipswich Tories are going to attempt to freeze local council tax.
Ipswich Spy informs us that Ipswich Conservatives have put forward an amendment to the budget that will save £100,000, but Ipswich labour are going to say it’s rubbish and vote against it so that they can hike up council tax for the third year in a row.

The bulk of the savings will come from stopping Ipswich Labour’s council tax payer funded propaganda sheet, the Ipswich Pravda Angle being monthly and reduce it to being published twice a year saving £51,000.

Ipswich Spy also informs us that

The rest of the savings will be achieved by cutting budgets put aside for community projects; Tories claim that these budgets are underspent every year and so a cut would make no difference to the services the voters of Ipswich receive. They also propose to scrap an allowance paid to five councillors to chair the Area Committees – these committees meet just five times a year and the councillors who chair them are paid £3,760 extra to chair the meetings.

By making these cuts to the budget, the Tories will be able to use a £136,000 grant from the Government, currently rejected by Labour, to freeze the council tax this year.

Nadia Cenci, Tory Opposition Group Leader, said:

“We believe that it is in the interests of the residents to reduce their outgoings whilst the country is recovering, by removing unnecessary costs that do not affect front line services and also to take advantage of the grant that the government is giving for any council that freezes or reduces its bill.”

Regarding the changes to the Ipswich Pravda Angle, Councillor Cenci added:

“Two editions a year is more than enough to convey the main news of the council, alongside the various other excellent media we have like Ipswich Spy, local newspapers, Ipswich Borough Council’s website and social media platforms.”

Commenting on her proposals to cut community funding through area committees, Councillor Cenci said:

“Area committees are failing to spend substantial amounts from the funds allocated to each of the wards and it would not be noticeable to reduce it by this small amount.

“We think it is wrong that councillors are paid £ 3,760 per annum to chair 5 area committee meetings per year. However this requires a separate decision by council so we have allowed for a half year saving this time round.”

Finally she said:

“We also understand the knock on effect for the next 2 years by freezing the tax, but we are prepared with further ideas on saving money, notwithstanding the fact that after the 3 years there will be a £4.6 million reserve pot, of which £2million represents the normal ‘buffer’ for best practice and £1.6million is not earmarked for anything.”

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