Local politicians have welcomed the less than one per cent rise in local rates.
Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley (Sinn Fein) said, “This is a good news story for the area and for our ratepayers. Despite challenging economic circumstances we have worked hard to keep the rate below the regional rate and lower than inflation; whilst maintaing our commitment to the effective delivery of services for our citizens.”
She continued, “As political leaders we must all continue to work collectively to protect jobs, to provide high quality service and to invest in our future.”
Ms Seeley added, “I would like to thank council staff who have dedicated a lot of time and effort into ensuring our ratepayers are getting value for money, and in to providing the information required for councillors to make this decision.”
DUP Group Leader Cllr Carla Lockhart has said her party were to the fore in fighting for low rates and ensuring that sufficient money has been set aside to invest in key capital projects that will transform the ABC Borough.
Cllr Carla Lockhart said, “Rate striking is one of the key elements of our role as a Councillor and we as a political party have taken it very seriously indeed. “We have worked throughout the year and indeed right to the wire with regards to the striking process and are delighted that it will be struck below 1%. Leaving a minimal rise for home-owners and a much lesser rise for business owners than first anticipated.
“Our commitment as a Council to our business community I believe is starting to emerge stronger as we settle into the new ABC administration.
“We have and will continue to put businesses right at the very heart of our decision making given the significant contribution they make to the rates base, job creation, tackling unemployment and indeed making our Borough a great place to work, play and do business.
“Stormont will be striking a rate of 1.7% in and around the rate of inflation, however, I am delighted that our Council has stepped up to the plate and kept the rates increase to a bear minimal.
“I want facilities in this borough that are world class, fit for purpose but affordable and to that end every decision we take as a DUP party whether it be popular or unpopular we have the rate payers right at our very heart. The recent announcement from Stormont concerning the rates support grant was welcome news and we have as a Council been able to set aside money for further investment and further reduce our rates increase.”