Council tax frozen again for Hucknall households

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COUNCIL tax paid by Hucknall households to Ashfield District Council has been frozen for the second year running.

Councillors rubberstamped the move at a meeting as part of a budget designed to make efficiency savings while protecting services.

The freeze has been made possible by the government pledging a one-off grant of almost £150,000, which will compensate the council for the revenue it would have received from a council-tax increase.

Overall, Hucknall residents will see a marginal increase in their tax bill, which pays for everything from wheelie-bin collections to street-light repairs.

This is because of a a 3.93% increase in charges levied by the Nottinghamshire Police Authority.

Most homes in Hucknall fall within bands A and B for council tax. From April 1, the bill for a band A household will go up by £4.20 a year (from £1,060.13 to £1,064.33).

For a band B property, the increase will be £4.90 a year (from £1,236.82 to £1,241.72).

Coun Trevor Locke (Lab), of Hucknall, the council’s lead member for finance, said:

“When one considers the financial challenges facing our residents at this time of austerity and, when unemployment is high and young people are struggling to find employment, if we can avoid placing upon them an additional tax-burden, then that is what we should do.”

He went on to add that the council had successfully reduced the budget for the year ahead by £1.9 million by reviewing the way it delivers services.

This is part of a long-term plan by the ruling Labour group to shave £5 million from its expenditure over the next five years to offset the impact of public-spending cuts from central government.

Coun Locke added: “The robust financial plans which I have outlined are the means by which we will not only survive this period of austerity but also emerge as a more efficient and modern council.”

The leader of the council, Coun John Knight (Lab), who formerly represented Hucknall, added that members and officers had worked hard to present a budget which did not cut any frontline services.

He also commented that the council’s finances were now in good shape, and that the district auditor had praised Ashfield for “demonstrating leadership” in a difficult economic climate.

The total council-tax bill for Hucknall households is made up of charges from Ashfield Council, Nottinghamshire Fire Authority, the Police Authority and Notts County Council.

Both the Fire Authority and the county council have also frozen their charges.