Released on 27 February 2012
At its full council meeting on 22 February, Surrey Heath Borough Council set its budget for 2012/13 and agreed to freeze its share of the council tax for the second year running.
Surrey Heath's share will remain at £185.45 for a Band D taxpayer, which is added to the charges from Surrey County Council and Surrey Police.
On average each resident pays just 50p a day for services provided by Surrey Heath Borough Council, covering a range of services from waste collection to looking after parks, and street cleaning to Community Services.
By not increasing its council tax, the council qualifies for a one off grant from the government equal to an increase of 2.5%. Unlike last year, this grant is payable for one year only.
This year's budget has been prepared against a background of reduced funding for the public sector. In 2011/12 the borough's government grant was reduced by more than £700,000 and now for 2012/13, a further £508,000. This means governement funding to the borough has been cut by almost 30% in the last two years.
Despite these funding reductions the council has made savings by increasing its income and reducing running costs without affecting frontline services.
Leader of the council, Cllr Moira Gibson said: "Due to our prudence in the last two years with savings of over £700,000 despite inflation, we are able to freeze council tax once again this year.
"We realise in the current economic climate increasing our share of the council tax could put a strain on residents. We are doing what we can to help, however as the government grant offered this year is a one-off payment it's unlikely we'd be in a position to do so again next year."
Surrey Heath is just one of three charging authorities and its charge represents about 13% of the total bill, while around 74% goes to Surrey County Council and the remaining 13% to Surrey Police.
Surrey Heath Borough Council issues the bills and collects the money on behalf of all these authorities.