Town council tax rise

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Forest Heath district councillors were last night set to freeze their element of the total council tax charge for the fourth successive year.

But on Monday Newmarket Town councillors agreed without discussion to increase their tax precept by two per cent putting the bill for parish services paid by town residents living in a band D property up from £94.69 a year to £102.28.

Ahead of yesterday’s district meeting, council leader Cllr James Waters said: “Thanks to sound financial planning, our proposal is that you pay the same you have for the past four years for this council’s services, while we continue to invest in the things that are important to you.

“Local government funding has changed for good. We have proved that by working differently we can make savings and make a real difference to the lives of those who live here.”

According to a council spokeswoman, the Mildenhall-based authority will save a further £412,000 over the next financial year by sharing services with its neighbour St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

However the council has estimated that it will need to make further savings of £1.1million in 2015/16, £600,000 in 2016/17 and £200,000 in 2017/18.