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Council refutes DoI claims

Saturday, 02 February 2013 22:26

Douglas Borough Council Leader Councillor David Christian JP has said that while he and his fellow Members viewed the rise in waste charges to be levied by the Department of Infrastructure on local authorities ‘with grave concern’ the Council’s prudent fiscal strategy ahead of this month’s budget had allowed it to absorb some of the impact the increase will impose on the rates.

 

DavidChristian MediumCouncillor David Christian says 'the Council has not increased the rate by even the waste levy charge’ Councillor Christian was responding to reported comments by the Hon David Cretney MHK, that the Department of Infrastructure would consider taking action against those local authorities citing the reduction in waste levy subsidy as the cause for increasing their rates for the 2013-2014 financial year.

 

The Minister also claimed that some local authorities had increased their rates over and above the waste levy charge government introduced for the 2003-2004 financial year. In response, Councillor Christian was at pains to make clear that this did not apply to Douglas Borough Council.

The move by the department to introduce a five-year phased withdrawal of its annual £5.7 million waste subsidy with effect from April 1st this year is the latest government measure to rebalance its budgets.

Councillor Christian said: ‘The Council has not increased the rate by even the waste levy charge. The rate was set at just 2.1 per cent, while the waste levy charge amounts to a 2.9 per cent increase.

 

‘If the Minister believes that some authorities have made an increase above the additional cost of the waste levy and have then blamed the whole increase on the waste charge, I would encourage Mr Cretney to “name and shame” those local authorities whose actions are bringing the good name of Douglas and others into disrepute.

 

‘As far back as February 12th 2003 when I delivered my budget presentation I said only one third of the 10.2 per cent increase in the rate for that year was due to waste charges and I referred to the future scale of those charges as “a step into the unknown”. That year, 2003, the Council did pass on the waste levy fee but it also made it clear that service improvements had also contributed to the rate increase.

 

‘So let me make it quite clear once again. For the 2013-2014 financial year the Council has not increased the rate by even the waste levy charge.’