Council freezes Newtownabbey’s domestic rates

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Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed to freeze the domestic rate for the Newtownabbey area during 2016/17.

At a special meeting in Mossley Mill on February 8, councillors rubber-stamped a 0 per cent increase in Newtownabbey’s domestic rates bill, and a 0.49 per cent decrease in its non-domestic rates bill.

Councillors also agreed to a 0.49 per cent decrease in the domestic and non-domestic rates for the Antrim area.

The district rate was struck at 0.3475p in the pound for the domestic rate and 24.206p in the pound for the non-domestic rate.

However, after a subsidy was applied, the domestic rate for the Newtownabbey area will remain at 0.3423p in the pound.

The motion to strike the rate was put forward by DUP Councillor Philip Brett, who said: “We are all united in the mantra of achieving the best possible service for our residents and customers at the lowest possible costs.”

“This represents a rates freeze for three years in Newtownabbey and, for the second year, a rates cut for Antrim.”

UUP Alderman Mark Cosgrove said that it was his “great privilege to second the proposal.”

Ald Cosgrove praised the work of the “united team” of council members, officers and staff, who he said had enabled the council to “deliver its services to such a high standard.”

“Very, very few councils have been able to sustain a rates freeze,” he continued.

“We have a rates freeze for Newtownabbey rate payers and customers and a rates reduction for Antrim rate payers and customers.

“This year we have delivered a rates reduction for our businesses, many of whom have had a very difficult time over the last five years and are starting to see the green shoots of recovery.

“I hope we can continue this in the year to come.

“I am proud to second this proposal.”

Having received cross-party support, Cllr Brett’s motion to strike the rate was unanimously agreed.

For the full story see this week’s Newtownabbey Times, in shops from tomorrow (February 10).