Belfast Telegraph

Ards rates rise by 2.98 percent

By Michael Bashford

Ards Borough Council has agreed to increase rates bills by 2.98 percent.

The decision by the council last week means the average annual rates bill in Ards is to rise by almost £10.

Mayor of Ards, Councillor William Montgomery, said the council had striven to minimise the impact of any rates rise on its ratepayers.

“Prudence has been our priority and, in considering budgets for this year, our goal has continued to be that any rise in the rate is kept to a minimum, ensuring the impact on our residents is therefore also minimised,” he said.

The chairman of the council’s rates sub-committee, councillor Simon Hamilton, added: “Heading into this year’s rates setting process in the context of an economic downturn and severe pressures on public finances, I honestly feared what the outcome might be in Ards.

“In the financial circumstances that we all find ourselves in, the striking of a domestic rate increase of 2.98 percent is a tremendous achievement.

“Ards Borough Council faces many fiscal challenges outside of its control including ever increasing waste disposal charges and rising staff remuneration costs.

“In spite of that, and for the lowest percentage increase in 13 years, ratepayers in Ards will see no loss of service and continued capital investment in our leisure facilities and community centres.”

The council’s rate for non-domestic ratepayers also rose by 2.97 percent.

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