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Council to join Rates Support Grant lobby group

Council to join Rates Support Grant lobby group

Mon, July 31, 2017

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is to lobby against cuts to the Rates Support Grant.

The decision to join a delegation with other local authorities was taken by members at their monthly meeting on Tuesday 25th July.

The Rates Support Grant is received annually from the Department for Communities in addition to its baseline funding. It is designed to create a balance and parity of service provision across all 11 Council areas.

The Department for Communities has recently confirmed that the fund will be cut - leading to a deficit of just over £32,000 for Causeway Coast and Glens.

Highlighting the potential impact of the situation, the Mayor, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, said: "Any reduction in this vital funding stream is a huge concern for us. Like other Councils with a smaller rates base, we rely on this income to lessen the burden on our ratepayer while maintaining high standards of service. This is a time of significant financial challenge for local governments and we feel a joint delegation, with other Councils facing a similar threat, will strengthen our position as we seek to have this grant restored and ring-fenced."

Since the establishment of the new Council area, a rates freeze has been maintained for householders in the Causeway Coast and Glens. Any further cuts to the grant would have potentially significant implications when striking the annual rate.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council's decision to take part in the joint delegation shows its commitment to its ratepayers and an understanding of how any changes to the grant could have far reaching consequences for revenue, capital investment and growth.

The lobby group will include the Council's Chief Finance Officer along with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee.