Belfast Telegraph

Castlereagh rate increase is among lowest

By Lauren Mulvenny

Castlereagh Borough Council has struck its district rates for the financial year 2010/11.

And compared with other local councils, the local authority is on the lower end of the rates scale.

At a special meeting, held last Thursday, February 11, councillors agreed on an increase of 3.47 percent.

This equates to an increase of £9.81 for the average domestic property owner in the borough.

The chairman of the finance and general purposes committee, Councillor Jack Beattie, proposed the council’s district rates to elected members at the meeting.

He said: “Given the current economic recession the council has agreed to strike rates which would support the ratepayers in Castlereagh and help them through this difficult time.

“The achievement of striking a 3.47 percent rate increase was only made possible by exercising due diligence and risk management to ensure a very fine balance in arriving at the level of resources required to maintain service delivery while minimising the increase on the district rates.”

Castlereagh was in direct comparison to Belfast City Council, which has implemented a massive hike of almost eight percent — making it the second highest rise of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland, behind Magherafelt.

This move was made at the last full council meeting, held on February 1.

Earlier this week Environment Minister Edwin Poots commended the councils that had kept increases to a minimum.

He added: “The disparity between the lowest and highest rates in Northern Ireland by councils would indicate that a number of them should be seeking to deliver high quality services more efficiently.”

At the meeting councillor Beattie also outlined many of the capital development projects, which are due to take place across the Borough, including development work at Castlereagh Hills Golf Club and Tullycarnet Park.

Belfast Telegraph


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