Council tax is frozen for a fifth year

WORTHING Borough Council will freeze council tax rates for an ‘historic’ fifth year in succession, cabinet members decided on Monday.

Conservative cabinet members voted in favour of keeping charges constant, despite a draft budget for the year ahead forecasting for a 1.5 per cent increase.

Chairing his first meeting since taking over as council leader, councillor Daniel Humphreys said: “I am not aware that anywhere since the introduction of council tax in the 90s of any council that has frozen it for five years, so if we now freeze it, we, along with a few others will be making history today.”

The decision was unanimous among the cabinet members, after hearing advice from chief financial officer Sarah Gobey that the council was in good health, despite continuing funding pressures.

Mr Humphreys said it was ‘remarkable’ how the council continued to provide services, despite funding cuts, praising officers for their hard work.

Worthing Liberal Democrat leader Keith Sunderland said he was pleased to see a freeze but hoped it was for the right reasons, not to make a political point.

“The Lib Dems would have looked at all the sums and the needs of Worthing and set a council tax in line with that.

“My suspicion is they are doing it to make a political point, rather than for the right reasons.

“The officers have been doing a fantastic job and it’s because of that there is an option to keep council tax down.”