Rates to rise by less than one per cent

Banbridge Town Centre
Banbridge Town Centre

The second district rate struck by the new Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council presents local ratepayers with a rise of just under one per cent.

The 0.92 per cent rise comes in substantially lower than last year’s 1.78 per cent, with extra cash from Stormont, promises to find £1.5m in savings over the next year and a payroll reduction from up to 15 voluntary redundancies among senior staff combining to help keep the increase down.

That said, the local authority is anticipating higher outgoings, such as increases in National Insurance payments and rising costs for recycling.

The 0.92 per cent rise translates to a domestic rate of 0.4370 and a non-domestic rate of 24.4252.

According to the council, the new rate means the average householder will see an increase of around 33p per month, while its examples of the average business increase, by area, show Banbridge (bakery) at 6.75p per month; Armagh (retail) 3.41p per month; Lurgan (retail) 5.58p per month; Portadown (hospitality) 0.83p per month.

With a budget of £80m, capital investments in the pipeline this year include a £1.1m major improvement scheme at Dromore Community Centre and over £1m to support local community organisations through the financial assistance programme, while key events ahead include Banbridge’s Buskfest on June 25.

Among completed capital investment projects the council higlighted was provision of six new local playparks across the borough, including one at Castleview, Gilford.

Lord Mayor Cllr Darryn Causby said, “Council agreed that a rise of less than one per cent demonstrates its commitment to prudently managing its finances while retaining its commitment to delivering high quality services and maintaining its programme of capital investment which will underpin further growth and prosperity for our local communities.

“ . . . The Council has a clear vision for how it wants the borough to prosper and grow while properly supporting its local communities and it has made much progress in this regard.  

“As the main provider of services, the focus of our efforts and resources is aimed at improving the quality of life for all of our people and we have much to be proud of.”