Saturday, 2 February 2013

Council leader calls on Elmbridge to 'give a little to get a lot'

Councillor John O'Reilly, leader of Elmbridge Council

ELMBRIDGE Council leader John O’Reilly is calling on residents to ‘give a little to get a lot’ after announcing that council tax will have to go up this year to safeguard frontline services.

The borough is planning a ‘modest increase’ of just under 2% in its portion of the council tax, after concluding that this would be better than making cuts that might have a detrimental effect on services.

This, in addition to a small rise in parking charges, will generate an extra £450,000 for the borough, but it will still need to save £1.1million in the next financial year.

Cllr O’Reilly (pictured) said: “Your Conservative administration has frozen the borough part of the council tax for five years in the last six, and at the same time we’ve achieved £6million savings with no impact on services.“Every so often a modest increase is needed to protect the services residents value, but rest assured we will continue to bear down on costs as we always have.”

He added the council is facing pressures from reduced government funding and a drop in income as its investments in high interest accounts reach maturity.

Elmbridge is looking at a number of capital investments that could generate money in future years and reduce the need for further tax rises.

Council tax is split three ways between the borough, police and Surrey County Council, with all three authorities able to raise or lower their demands each April.

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