Ipswich Borough Council is, like councils across the country, facing huge cuts from Theresa May’s Government.
Just three main changes introduced by the Government – cuts in the Council’s main grant; cuts to the New Homes Bonus; and an increase in business rates – will cost the Council more than £12million over the next four years.
Clearly this presents a severe financial challenge and will make it increasingly difficult to protect the frontline services that are important to the people of Ipswich.
We have put savings plans in place to ensure that there will be no immediate need for largescale cuts to services.
We will still be able to offer Ipswich residents the comprehensive range of services you have come to expect such as waste collection – including free brown bin collection, street cleaning, sports facilities, the Regent and Corn Exchange, the Museum and Mansion, car parks, cultural events, CCTV, an out-of-hours noise nuisance service and our superb parks.
We will continue to invest in the town to bring new businesses and jobs to Ipswich and to reduce our reliance on Government funding.
The new Birkett’s offices on Princes Street, funded by the Council’s new property company is proceeding well. Work will start soon on the new multi-storey car park at Crown Street and we have begun preparatory work on a new multi-storey car park in the Princes Street area to service new businesses and increased commuter parking. Work on the former Sproughton Sugar Beet site will start later this year.
We will continue to build affordable new council housing and have already gained planning permission for a further 67 homes.
Our major savings and efficiency programme enables us to continue to provide quality services but the Government expects all councils to increase the level of council tax. For the majority of households in Ipswich we will increase council tax by 10p a week or less. This represents excellent value for money.
The Borough Council's element amounts to just 15% of the increase you will see on your bill. The rest is from Conservative-run Suffolk County Council and the Police & Crime Commissioner.