Lib Dems peg council tax rise to 4%

February 25, 2005 3:25 AM

FULL COUNCIL MEETING, THURSDAY 24 FEBRUARY: The city council has announced a 4% rise in council tax, lower than the average for Labour councils in the country. This modest rise will enable the city to spend an extra £700,000 on local services.

Ian Nimmo-Smith, Lib Dem leader of the council, admitted he didn't want council tax to increase: "It is painful for us to have to increase Labour's unfair council tax - Lib Dems want to axe the tax and replace it with a fairer local income tax - but we have tried our best to keep the rise down to a minimum."

EAST CHESTERTON COMMUNITY CENTRE TO GET EXTRA £90,000

This money comes on top of another big investment in the new community facility. "We are delighted to announce extra support for families and children who will use the centre," said Councillor Joye Rosenstiel, Executive Councillor for Community Development and Leisure. She also announced the appointment of another Reccy Ranger, to help young people get the most out of their parks, play areas and recreation grounds.

CLEANER STREETS

More money is to go to the city's Street Scene staff, who look out for graffiti, fly posting, dumped trade waste and other unpleasantness in the environment. Councillor Iain Coleman also confirmed support for the Street Scene Community Liaison Officer: "We all value a clean, safe, attractive environment, and I want the council to work together with the community to achieve just that."

RECYCLING

The council is expected to introduce kerbside plastics collection later in the year. Councillor Iain Coleman, overseeing the project, is also going to launch a campaign to inform the public about all the recycling options now available to Cambridge residents.

MORE STAFF FOR CCTV

Extra money is being found to employ more staff on the city's cctv network. "Local people told us that they appreciated the extra security provided by cctv cameras. We are keen to enhance the service wherever we can," said Nimmo-Smith. Funds have also been set aside for cctv protection at the new East Chesterton Community Centre.

HOUSING WOES ENDING

The misery of temporarily homeless families having to stay in bed and breakfast accommodation is almost over. Catherine Smart, Executive Councillor for Housing and Health, explained: "Thanks to extra funding for the council's dedicated officer, these unfortunate families now have a much better chance of getting into rented accommodation. Councillor Smart also announced that the campaign against abandoned houses is paying off, with 11 homes having been brought back into use thanks to council help.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Councillor Catherine Smart announced more money for the successful Anti-Social Behaviour team.

CYCLING

The city will host a national celebration of cycling routes with a big 10th anniversary event in honour of the National Cycle Network. "Where better to hold this than one of the country's foremost cycle-friendly cities," said Jenny Bailey, Executive Councillor for Transport. She is also pleased to confirm £50,000 worth of investment in cycleways, signage and bike parking.

ONLINE PLANNING

Cambridge residents will soon be able to look at planning applications online, as part of the council's ongoing scheme to bring services closer to the people they serve.

CAR PARKS TO TAKE PLASTIC

Credit card payments for the city's car parks will be introduced in 2005.

DIAL-A-RIDE AND TAXICARD

Councillor Jenny Bailey assured Cambridge users that these schemes will not see cuts in funding (see separate story).

NO TO ID

A motion rejecting the government's proposed national identity database scheme was passed without opposition, though Labour councillors abstained (see separate story).

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