Council launches £2m growth fund and confirms ninth council tax freeze

Council tax freezing and the launch of a new £2m growth and infrastructure fund was announced

Council tax freezing and the launch of a new £2m growth and infrastructure fund were announced at a full East Cambridgeshire District Council meeting on February 22. - Credit: PEXELS

East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) has announced it is launching a new £2m growth and infrastructure fund to support sustainable projects for local communities.

At a full council meeting on February 22, the council also confirmed it will be freezing its element of council tax again this year for the ninth year running. 

East Cambridgeshire is the only district, county or unitary authority still in operation in the country not to put up bills during this time. 

Currently, the amount residents pay to the council is less than eight per cent of the total bill. 

It means an average Band D property will pay £142.14 to the council which is the same as it was in 2014/15. 

The remainder is divided between Cambridgeshire County Council, parish or town councils and the emergency services. 

The council further confirmed it has a balanced budget for the next two years, and will be making new money available for leisure centres and community-led housing projects. 

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Leader of ECDC, Cllr Anna Bailey, said: “I'm extremely proud of the fact that East Cambs has been able to freeze its portion of the council tax bill for the past nine years. 

“This is at a time when many other local authorities are increasing theirs by the maximum amount possible. 

“Our new growth and infrastructure fund will enable us to invest in projects that promote sustainable growth in our local communities, for example by supporting new or improved cycleways and community and sports facilities.” 

Cllr Bailey explained that these measures are in addition to over £10 million invested to date in infrastructure projects across East Cambridgeshire since the adoption of the community infrastructure levy. 

The funds have helped to build and improve leisure centres, recreation fields, county parks, village halls, GP surgeries, car parks, youth centres, new roads, and cultural facilities such as Ely Museum and the Viva Mill in Soham. 

“As we emerge from Covid, household costs are rising sharply, and as a council, we want to do whatever we can to support our residents,” said Cllr Bailey. 

“We appreciate freezing our portion of council tax is a modest gesture, but we hope residents appreciate that we really do have their best interests at heart.”