Council tax freeze proposed

WEST Sussex residents look set to enjoy another year of no council tax rises.

At a full meting of the county council last month, Michael Brown, cabinet member for finance and resources, said he was “minded to propose no increase in the county council’s element of council tax next year”.

If approved at next month’s budget meeting, it would mean the average band D taxpayer would continue to pay £1,161.99 for the 80 per cent of services provided by the county council.

However, bills will also include charges from Arun District Council and Sussex Police and precepts from town or parish councils.

Mr Brown’s statement followed confirmation the government will give West Sussex a one-off payment of around £9.6m – equivalent to a 2.5 per cent tax rise.

“I think this will be welcome news for hard-pressed families across our county, and, at this stage, I cannot see any reason why we should be blown off course,” he said.

The provisional funding settlement for local authorities, announced by the government last month, was described by Mr Brown as “another very tough one for the county council”.