Council tax help will be reviewed

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Two councils have agreed to review the amount of council tax support they will pass to town and parish councils over the next few years.

Changes by central Government as to how benefits are paid have impacted on the base rate that councils use to set council tax. This combined with a 49 per cent cut to rate support grant from the Government has mean that there is less money filtering down to grass roots town and parish councils.

St Edmundsbury borough and Forest Heath district councils have set out the amounts they will provide to town councils until 1016/17 and while this gives a firmer indication on how much money will be available it is a 50 per cent cut in real terms.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council received £19,323 in 2013/14, £14,492 this year and next year £9,662 with the figure expected to remain at that level in 2016/17. Mildenhall’s figure drops from £40,032.70 in 2012/13 to £20,172.22 in 2015/16.

Cllr Terry Waters, Forest Heath leader, said: “We have given them funding certainty for this year and next so they can plan for the future.”

Cllr John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury leader, said a range of grants were now being made available through individual councillor locality budgets to support community projects.