Congratulations to Bournemouth Council on achieving a Council Tax freeze for their residents. This has actually meant a 0.7% cut by the council in the amount of tax they are taking – in order to absorb an 8% increase in the Fire precept and a further 2% for the Police.
This latter item an indication of the failure of the new "Independent" Police & Crime Commissioner to identify efficiencies.
The council leader Cllr John Beesley says:
“We are clear that our strategy and commitment to residents is to ensure that, whenever we can, Bournemouth’s council tax payers do not suffer any increase in their Council Tax. This is particularly important at a time when fuel, food and other costs continue to rise, putting greater pressure on all householders in our community.
“This is a budget for all Bournemouth residents; it recognises that households of all sizes and circumstances are being squeezed tighter and tighter by the economic climate, and it sets out our commitment to delivering improvements across the board, as well as ensuring no council tax bill increase to the people of Bournemouth.
“It is unhelpful that funding pressures on Dorset Police and Dorset Fire Authority have led to precept rises by these public bodies for the next financial year. Despite this, I am pleased that we have been able to plan a budget that means Bournemouth residents see no rise in their overall Council Tax bills during 2013/14. This is despite the Council receiving 11.61% less government grant settlement for 2013/14 than we did in 2012/13 – and in the context of an overall 27% grant reduction since 2011/12, with further cuts from Government to come next year."