Gaston wants £1,000,000 windfall to be used to ease burden on ratepayers


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.

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