Stevenage council's tax freeze is too late - claim

THE setting of a council s budget for the forthcoming financial year has raised the question – why were certain efficiency savings not made decades ago? Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) last week announced it is to freeze its council tax precept for 2010/1

THE setting of a council's budget for the forthcoming financial year has raised the question - why were certain efficiency savings not made decades ago?

Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) last week announced it is to freeze its council tax precept for 2010/11.

It has promised no cuts to frontline services and no increase to members' allowances, but 20 posts at the council will be axed in a bid to balance the books.

Since 2007/08 SBC has delivered over �5.9 million of efficiency savings.


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At a full council meeting on Thursday last week, Lib Dem councillor Robin Parker said: "It's not a surprise at all that in an election year we go for a zero per cent increase in council tax."

He added: "What answer do we have for council tax payers who say we have made all these savings now, why weren't all these savings made decades ago?"

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Labour councillor Sharon Taylor, leader of SBC, retorted: "You were on the council and I wasn't, so I have no idea."

Conservative councillor Graham Clark, leader of the opposition, said of the 2010/11 budget: "I support the zero per cent increase."

He also said he is pleased a small surplus has been built into the budget. "A small surplus is a good thing and should be the target of the council each year," he suggested.

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