Ballymena’s rates up 1.65%

BALLYMENA Borough Council have struck a “modest” 1.65 per cent rate increase for 2013/14.

At a special meeting in The Braid last night, Thursday, Council struck a district domestic rate of 0.3820 pence (a rise of 1.65%) and a non-domestic rate of 27.6543 pence (a rise of 1.65%) for the year ahead.

Proposing the new district rate, Cllr Tommy Nicholl said: “The Council has minimised this year’s increase through a comprehensive review of activities and has delivered targeted efficiences without compromising services to ratepayers.

“A rate increase significantly beneath the current rate of inflation has been delivered whilst Council has absorbed a number of unavoidable increases in costs.”

Seconder, Cllr Declan O’Loan said: “This represents very good value for the ratepayers and they can have confidence that for this modest increase they are getting efficient and innovative delivery from their Council.

“The Council has been very conscious of the financial pressures on households and the retail sector particularly, in recent times, and has striven to keep the increase down.”

The Mayor, Alderman PJ McAvoy said: “I feel the approach adopted represents a sensible balance between keeping the rates as low as possible, whilst still providing a broad range of services to the public and continuing the development and investment in our facilities and services to provide for future growth of the borough.”

He pointed out that once the regional rate is added to the district rate, this translates to 36p per week increase on the average household rates bill in Ballymena.