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Conservative group votes through council tax increase for Mid Suffolk

Plans to increase council tax in Mid Suffolk from April have been narrowly approved – while an extra £4million has been committed to helping with the Covid-19 recovery in 2021.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s 2021/22 budget was approved by 17 votes to 16, with one abstention on Thursday night, meaning the Mid Suffolk element of the council tax bill will rise by 1.66 per cent, or £2.80 a year extra for a Band D home.

However, since proposals were first unveiled in December the Conservative and Independent administration has pledged £4million to spend in four key areas to help the district recover from the coronavirus pandemic – the economy, housing, communities and wellbeing.

Endeavour House, Ipswich, where Mid Suffolk District Council is based.
Endeavour House, Ipswich, where Mid Suffolk District Council is based.

Those funds will be committed to projects agreed with the opposition Green and Liberal Democrat group, likely to encompass some of the measures the opposition group put forward in an amendment that was later withdrawn.

Conservative council leader Councillor Suzie Morley said: “This is not a time just to be prudent, this is a time to be investing in our district to ensure it doesn’t just swiftly bounce back from the devastating impacts of the Covid pandemic, but is able to thrive.”

Conservative cabinet member for finance, Councillor John Whitehead, said that the council tax increase equated to less than 1p per day for home paying Band D council tax, with the £104,000 generated from the council tax increase going into a ring fenced Covid-19 business recovery fund.

Councillor Whitehead said it would 'help our local businesses first recover and then thrive once again'.

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