Rates rise of 0.92% is less than last year

Portadown People's Park which opens on Friday.INPT41-212.
Portadown People's Park which opens on Friday.INPT41-212.

Ratepayers can expect a rise of just under one per cent - the second rate struck by the new Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council.

The new rate is a 0.92 per cent rise, substantially less than last year’s 1.78 per cent rise.

Extra cash from Stormont helped keep the rates increase down as did promises to find £1.6m in savings over the next year.

Also savings from laying off up to 15 senior staff in voluntary redundancies has also reduced the payroll bill.

However, the council is anticipating higher outgoings such as increases in National Insurance payments and increased costs for recycling.

With the new rate, the average householder across the borough will see an increase of around 33p per month, according to the council.

Councillors agreed a domestic rate of 0.4370 and a non-domestic rate of 24.4252. 

Non-domestic ratepayers will also see changes to their bills for the year ahead following a rise of 0.92 per cent.

The council set out a guide as to what that might mean to certain businesses across the borough: Armagh (retail) 3.41p per month; Banbridge (bakery) 6.75p per month; Lurgan (retail) 5.58p per month; Portadown (hospitality) 0.83p per month.

With a budget of £80m, capital investments in the pipeline this year include £6m in environmental improvement schemes in Lurgan, Portadown, Richhill and Keady plus work is under way on a new £30m Craigavon Leisure Centre to open in 2019.

There is also more than £1m in the budget to support local community organisations through financial assistance programme.

Last year a £5.6m refurbishment of Portadown People’s Park attracted 90,000 visitors in its first three months, according to council.

Lord Mayor Cllr Darryn Causby said, “Council agreed that a rise of less than one per cent demonstrates its commitment to prudently managing its finances while retaining its commitment to delivering high quality services and maintaining its programme of capital investment which will underpin further growth and prosperity for our local communities.”