Suffolk County Council to freeze council tax bills

Suffolk County Council is set to freeze its element of council tax bills again next year, the authority has confirmed.

In papers published ahead of the next council cabinet meeting, the authority has also revealed that the number of people employed directly by it will be slashed by more than 3,000 over the next 12 months.

Members will be looking at the proposed budget for 2012/13 when they meet on January 24.

The county is looking to make savings of �26m over the next financial year – the first stage of a two-year programme of savings which will result in more than �50m in cuts.

Council leader Mark Bee says the authority is determined to come up with a budget that would allow it to freeze council tax bills for another year.

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The budget proposals include saving �12m by improving efficiency, �8m of savings in adult care from more investment in prevention cutting and �1.5m by reducing management costs across the organisation.

Included in the proposed 2012/13 budget is a capital investment of �115m in major projects to benefit Suffolk including reorganising schools to improve attainment, delivering better broadband for Suffolk and investment in the road network.

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In the 12 months from March this year, the number of people directly employed by the county is set to fall from 7,996 to 4,817, but most of those jobs will be transferred to new or existing organisations set up to provide services on behalf of the council.

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, protects, as much as possible, frontline services and keeps council tax down.'

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