Council tax in Medway to rise by almost 2%
Council tax is going up by 1.99% - just enough so council
chiefs don’t have to ask you if you want it to.
The move was confirmed this week as Medway Council’s cabinet
revealed its 2013/14 budget.
The tax, which was frozen for the last two years to help
struggling residents, will be risen but not hit the 2% threshold to
trigger a referendum.
Finance chief Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) said: “This year has
been the worst yet, and we ain’t seen nothing yet, so it’s very
“It’s a step too far, we just can’t keep finding these savings
against the backcloth of these huge cuts in grant.”
The rise will bring the bill for an average (band D) house to
£1,141, a rise of £22 which Cllr Mike O’Brien (Con) said was “less
than a pint of beer a week” and Cllr Jarrett said was still the
lowest in Kent.
Some perks of last year’s budget have been preserved
permanently, including free swimming, a graffiti team,
apprenticeships and free parking at Christmas.
The cabinet once again promised all 19 Sure Start centres
would remain open, despite what Labour says is a steep cut in
Yet despite claiming the budget was balanced, Cllr Jarrett
admitted there are £589,000 in “unspecified savings” which still
need to be worked out.
And there will be yet another round of back-office cuts aiming
to save £1.4m.
Despite the council tax injection this year’s budget was
frantically compiled, since the government only confirmed its
figures last Monday.
Cllr Howard Doe (Con) said: “We’re building bricks out of
straw at the moment. I just hope the government doesn’t decide it
wants to cut the straw, which I’m sure it will do in due
More on the budget in the Medway Messenger on Friday.
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