Council recommends council tax is frozen in Suffolk

Suffolk county councillors have been recommended to freeze the authority's share of next year's council tax bills when they agree the council's 2012/13 budget next month.

If approved, the recommendation made by the cabinet would see �26m saved from the county council's annual budget and the authority's share of council tax frozen for a second consecutive year.

It follows four months of consultation with partners, councillors, staff and members of the public.

The savings are focused on reducing management costs, cutting bureaucracy and protecting frontline services – all priorities set by the county council's leader Mark Bee. In November, he also called for a freeze on council tax.

The proposals also demonstrate how the council plans to invest more of its limited financial resources in services that help vulnerable people earlier – so that they remain independent for longer and do not become dependent on more costly support in later life.

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The proposed 2012/13 budget includes capital investment of �115m in major projects including reorganising schools, improving broadband and continued investment in the county's road network.

Mr Bee said: 'I've made it very clear that what I want to see from this process is the creation of a budget that saves money on back office and bureaucracy, protects, as much as possible, frontline services and keeps council tax down.

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'I'm pleased that despite the financial circumstances we are facing, the proposals that have been drawn up meet these expectations whilst at the same time make it possible to invest some of our capital budget in major projects.'

The 2012/13 budget proposals are the first stage of a two year plan to save �50m from �1 billion annual budget the county council is responsible for.

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