Rates bills to show ‘modest increase’

Newtownabbey Mayor, alderman Billy Webb.
Newtownabbey Mayor, alderman Billy Webb.

HOUSEHOLD rates bills in Newtownabbey are set to rise by less than 20p per week.

At a special meeting held on Tuesday night (February 14), councillors agreed the District Rate for the financial year 2012/13 at an increase of 2.83 per cent (domestic) and 2.84 per cent (non-domestic).

“The council is pleased to have kept the rate rise well below the rate of inflation,” said Mayor Billy Webb. “For the average household this means a rate increase of 19 pence per week.

“I am aware of the financial pressures that residents and businesses are facing and the current economic situation has been at the centre of our financial planning for the year ahead. I am pleased that councillors have engaged on a cross-party basis to reach this modest increase.”

Jacqui Dixon, the council’s Chief Executive added: “The council has an excellent track record of investing in local facilities and will continue to do so in an effort to support the local economy. We are proposing to invest almost £5 million in the local economy over the next five years to support a range of capital schemes.

“The council works in partnership with many other agencies and will continue to explore opportunities to secure any external funding which may be available to support future schemes.”