Tax Breaks For People Living In East Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 17:34 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

TAX breaks have been given to East Cambs residents in a last-minute decision by district councillors. East Cambs District Council stands to lose £1million in the next financial year, due to a drop in income from fees, commercial rents and interest rates.

TAX breaks have been given to East Cambs residents in a last-minute decision by district councillors.

East Cambs District Council stands to lose £1million in the next financial year, due to a drop in income from fees, commercial rents and interest rates.

But a business incentive grant of £39,260 and the £12,000 saved from the abolition of the Angel Drove Park-and-Ride service left enough money in the pot to settle the Council Tax increase at 4.5 per cent, instead of the planned 4.9 per cent, which is just 0.1 per cent below the legal maximum.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, leader and Littleport Conservative, Fred Brown, said £10,000 from the business grant would be given to Newmarket Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the remainder would be put into a contingency fund.

He also announced £5,000 for a consultant-run study into improving bus services from Ely's outlying villages into the city - for elderly and isolated residents.

A move by Liberal Democrats to keep the £12,000 Angel Drove Park-and-Ride - the only cut to services in the 2009-10 budget - was unanimously rejected by the Conservatives, who claimed the service had not been well used.

"Looking around Ely, at the whole district, in this current climate, my first reaction is not to spend £12,000 on a service that has not proved itself," said Cllr Brown.

"We are not in the business of throwing good money after bad, and trying things out to see if they work."

Ely councillor Jeremy Friend-Smith said the Park-and-Ride had been a "madcap scheme," but by making the Angel Drove car park free on a Saturday and Sunday, park-and-ride could be made to work. "We would be given very considerable goodwill and brownie points, I think, are the order of the day."

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send us your views on council tax and services to the editor, Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely CB7 4LS or email editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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