Last week I wrote about how we had managed to keep Ipswich Borough’s council tax increase down much lower than the Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk County Council, writes Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere.
Many people are concerned that council tax is rising but services are still getting worse.
That is not the case for Ipswich Borough Council. We are able to protect all our services from cuts over the coming year. As long as the Government doesn’t impose any further cuts on us – and that is a pretty big “if” – then we are fairly confident that we can protect services for a further three years as well.
So brown bins will remain free of charge in Ipswich and our out-of-hours noise nuisance service will continue.
We are also investing to improve services.
A top priority for us is to try and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We will be significantly increasing our budget to help stop people becoming homeless and will be investing £2.6million to purchase and convert a property which will provide additional temporary accommodation for up to 40 individuals or households.
We are committed to playing our part in tackling drugs, gang violence and anti-social behaviour and will put funding towards the work being undertaken by the police and other partners. This will include a major upgrade to our CCTV network.
We will invest in new electric sweepers which will significantly improve the cleanliness of the town centre. We will also increase the amount of mechanical sweeping across the town which should help to keep down weed growth.
We have reversed planned cuts to grants for community organisations. Unlike Suffolk County Council, which is cutting funding to Citizens Advice Bureaux and the Greenways projects, we will maintain our funding at the same level.
We will help finance a new home for the FIND food bank – sadly needed more than ever with the advent of Universal Credit.
Conservative-run Suffolk County Council is increasing council tax by 88p a week and cutting services.
Labour-run Ipswich Borough is increasing council tax by 15p a week and improving services.
It is truly the case that, with Labour in Ipswich, you pay less and you get more.