Antrim Council strikes record-breaking low rates increase

ANTRIM Borough Council has agreed a record-breaking low increase for its portion of the household Rates for 2013/2014.

At just 0.49 per cent, the increase is three pence per week based on a property with a capital value of £85,000.

Alderman Drew Ritchie, Chair of the Council’s Resources Committee, said: “This is the lowest ever household Rates increase for the Antrim Borough Council area.

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“A key priority for Elected Members was to strike a balance between continuing to provide our community with the highest standard of frontline services and, at the same time, minimise any financial burden to our ratepayers. I’m confident we have achieved that balance.

“I’m also pleased that, despite setting one of the lowest rates in the Province, we will be making a significant investment of £13.5m in capital projects.”

Alderman Ritchie added: “We have been making financial provision over the past few years for much needed recreation facilities in the Borough particularly additional pitches.

“So, we will be investing £9m in Crumlin and at Allen Park, which lies between Antrim and Randalstown.

“In addition, we will be maximising our advantage as the only Council area with a town on the shores of Lough Neagh by investing around £2m in the creation of a new gateway centre at the Lough Shore Park. We have also made provision for an extension to Belmont Cemetery and replacement of vehicles.”

Mayor of Antrim, Councillor Roy Thompson, said: “This record-breaking low household Rates increase is very good news for our community.

“It is the outcome of good financial management, a willingness to find innovative ways of working and the excellent working partnership between Elected Members and Officers.”