After an unsuccessful attempt on Wednesday evening by Councillors to strike the rates for the incoming financial year, a figure was finally agreed at the reconvened meeting on Thursday evening.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has struck its new annual rate at 3.49%.
The figure, agreed by elected members on Thursday 10th February 2022, means that local ratepayers will continue to have one of the lowest cumulative rates increases since the merger of Councils in 2015.
Householders can expect to see their monthly rates bill increase by £1.40 (based on a house with a capital value of £121,478).
Commenting on the decision, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes said: “Despite the challenges faced by the organisation around energy, fuel, insurance and payroll costs, members are committed to making efficiency savings to mitigate the pressures on the ratepayer who we recognise are greatly impacted by rising living costs at this time.
“As an organisation we face similar pressures– we have facilities to light and heat, vehicles like our refuse collection lorries to fuel and general maintenance and running costs. Unprecedented rises in utility and energy costs along with other factors including the ongoing health crisis and uncertainty around central government funding, has meant the organisation has been faced with more than £5.1m of additional financial pressures beyond our control.
“Despite this challenging backdrop, Council has agreed to realise approximately £2.5m in savings and additional income which has allowed the rate to be held at well below inflationary value which will be significant for our residents. We anticipate that our overall rates increase since the Council’s inception will remain one of the lowest across Northern Ireland, while we continue to deliver excellent frontline operations and an extensive portfolio of facilities and services for ratepayers.”
In the past year, Council has completed several significant projects including extensive fitness suite refurbishments in Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre and Roe Valley Leisure Centre, the provision of a new Accessible Play Park in Limavady, the development of world-class viewing platforms at Magheracross and Portaneevy and extended accessible beach provision at East Strand in Portrush.
Further to this work is currently underway on a £3.3m regeneration of Portrush Recreation Grounds which will further enhance the resort ahead of the return of The Open in 2025. Over the next five years, Council remains committed to the continued delivery of an ambitious capital programme, including a £72m Growth Deal, £2m Covid Recovery Small Settlement Regeneration Programme and £3.3m from the Levelling Up fund.
Collectively, this will complement previous infrastructure investments in the Borough, for the benefit of all those who live, work, and visit here.