Council tax in Brighton and Hove is expected to go up in the coming year by the lowest percentage since the council was created.
Brighton and Hove City Council is proposing a 2.5 per cent rise. This compares with 3.5 per cent last year.
The proposal is part of a budget package to be considered by the council’s cabinet at a meeting at Hove Town Hall next Wednesday (9 December).
The package includes “efficiency savings” of £7.8 million during the 2010-11 financial year and a number of spending promises.
Among the council’s spending plans are a £500,000 proposal to improve the appearance of the seafront. This includes continuing work such as painting of railings and refurbishing shelters as well as work at Hove Lagoon.
Councillors want to spend another £500,000 on a transport model for the city. This may lead to a park and ride scheme.
Infrastructure work – for example, at Falmer – and other capital spending projects are likely to cost £61 million during the year.
Council leader Mary Mears said: “We understand the pressures many of the city’s residents are under at the moment and that is why we have responded by proposing the city’s lowest ever council tax increase.
“Imposing tight limits on our spending and a laser-like focus on delivering value for money have enabled us to balance the books without hitting the council taxpayer in the pocket.
“The current financial climate is also very difficult for the council. Our annual increase in government grant is already spoken for, with reduced income from the properties we own and an anticipated increase in demand for some of our essential services.
“This budget and our commitment to low council tax increases in future shows everyone in the city that we’re serious about keeping costs under control and making better use of public money.”
The cabinet meeting starts at 2.30pm on Wednesday.
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