Average Ballymoney rates to rise by £20 this year

THE average household in Ballymoney will see rates rise by around £20 this year after local councillors said they worked hard to keep rises to a minimum.

At a meeting on February 9, Ballymoney Council agreed its rates for 2011/2012 and domestic householders will see their rates bill rise by 2.9% (assuming a 3% increase in the Regional Rate for Domestic properties), which means that a rates bill for a house valued at £100,000 will increase by £20.10 (just over £1.50 per month).

For a house valued at £150,000 the increase is £30.15 (just over £2.50 per month), while for a house valued at £200,000 the increase is £40.20 (just under £3.50 per month).

Despite facing rising costs for major increases in fuel, energy and waste disposal tax as well as a drop in income from services and central government grants, in an era when inflation is 3.7%, Ballymoney Council has managed to deliver a rates increase well within that figure, a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added: “While aiming to protect and retain essential services Council has also been able to make provision to spend £1M on new community schemes at Dervock and Megaw Park.

“During the incoming financial year work will also be advanced on provision of community facilities at Balnamore, Ballybogey, Stranocum, Cloughmills and Glebeside, budgeted for in the current year, a total investment of some £2M in community infrastructure in the borough.”

Speaking after the meeting Mayor, Bill Kennedy, said: “We are in hard economic times and have had to make difficult decisions to keep the rate increase down in the face of steeply rising costs.

“Thanks to the good work of members and officers we have agreed a rate below the level of inflation. I hope the electorate appreciate our efforts to maintain services in the local community,” he added.

* The council’s rate increase is 2.79%, coupled and with the expected 3% rise in the regional rate this bring the increase to 2.9% for the average domestic ratepayer in the borough.