Welcoming confirmation that Mid and East Antrim is to receive an additional £1,006,945 from central government, Bannside TUV councillor Timothy Gaston has urged fellow councillors to make sure ratepayers see the benefit of the unexpected windfall.
Cllr Gaston told ‘Ballymena Daily’: “Local government reform was sold as a money saver, where as for the Mid and East Antrim ratepayers it’s seen a rise every year.
“In the last few weeks, the Department for Communities has announced over £1million extra funding for Mid and East Antrim. Families across our Borough are struggling, and I will be urging councillors to use the healthy financial position we keep hearing about to strike a minimal rate.
“Any increase must be well below 1%. This would allow Council to continue to support local people, grow the economy and deliver a £12 million capital plan.
“If councillors vote for anything above a 1% increase, it raises serious questions on where their priorities are. I think the hard working ratepayers will be mindful of this when they go to the polling stations on 2 May.”
The additional £1,006,945 in funding is a result of the reallocation of the rates support grant from years 2015/16 – 2017/18.