Low grant will hit ratepayers’

RATEPAYERS have been warned they will pay the price after the Government announced a below inflation grant increase for the district council. The warning comes from MP Jim Paice who has warned that services such as waste collection and leisure in East Cam

RATEPAYERS have been warned they will pay the price after the Government announced a below inflation grant increase for the district council.

The warning comes from MP Jim Paice who has warned that services such as waste collection and leisure in East Cambridgeshire could suffer.

"If ministers want this area to remain a hub of growth they have to provide the funding to match," he said.

"When I surveyed the population of Ely on life in the city a year ago more than four out of every five respondents felt that public services and amenities were not growing in line with new housing developments and population growth.


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"This situation is only going to be exacerbated by such a miserly funding settlement and it is the people of East Cambridgeshire who will ultimately pay the price."

East Cambridgeshire District Council has been told it will receive an increase of just one per cent leaving it with a budget shortfall of just over £100,000 this year increasing to £300,000 by 2009/10.

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"The difference between what the council needs and what has been provided will probably have to be met by either cuts to services or Council Tax rises," warned Mr Paice, MP for South East Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire County Council is to get an increase of just two per cent, the lowest for 10 years.

Leader, Cllr Keith Walters has labelled the settlement "hopelessly inadequate".

He told John Healey, Minister for Local Government, in a letter: "At a time when Cambridgeshire is trying to cope with unprecedented demand for its services, the Government gives us yet another hopelessly inadequate settlement, which is going to put us in dire financial straits for the next three years."

INFO: See Jim Paice's views in full on Page 4.

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