Rates to rise by 1.74 %

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Rates are to rise in the Mid & East Antrim Borough by 1.74%.

The rate striking was unanimously agreed on Wednesday evening by councillors who agreed a domestic district rate increase of 1.74% - approximately 0.14% less than last year’s level of rate increase.

Mid and East Antrim’s rate increase is among the lowest of Northern Ireland’s 11 local government authorities.

It has been pointed out by the local authority that the rate set is aimed at mitigating the financial burden on residents and businesses whilst ensuring high-quality frontline services and the delivery of major investments planned in Mid and East Antrim.

These projects include Council’s private partnership bid for a Heathrow Logistics Hub, the ongoing development of digital infrastructure, facilitating the redevelopment of Glenarm, growing hotel provision, expansion of The Gobbins, the regeneration of St Patrick’s Barracks, establishing an Innovation Centre, and substantial investment in Carrickfergus town centre.

Council’s portion of the rates amounts to 48% of the rates bills received by residents and businesses in Mid and East Antrim, with the remainder set by the Stormont Executive.

The percentage increase represents an increase of 16 pence per week for the average household in Mid and East Antrim (equivalent to £8.32 per year), with the final total to be confirmed on the announcement of the regional rate.

The impact of the ‘Reval 2020’ exercise carried out by Land and Property Services has resulted in an additional 2.90% on the non-domestic rate.

The district rate increase represents a domestic rate of 0.4371 pence in the pound and a non-domestic rate of 30.9203 pence for 2020/21.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said the striking of a domestic district rate increase at 1.74% was achieved due to continued efficiencies by Council’s Elected Members and senior management team.

She said: “I commend the hard work of our elected members and council officers to drive continued efficiencies and savings throughout Mid and East Antrim.

“They have done so while also delivering and maintaining exceptional services to our ratepayers and identifying major investment opportunities for our borough.

“Our Council has again struck a rate which is fair and reasonable - in line with our consistent approach which is to keep our rates as low as possible whilst ensuring delivery on our commitments to secure and create jobs in Mid and East Antrim, attract new investment, grow our tourism industry and other key objectives.

“We are all too aware of the challenging economic climate and its impact on citizens and businesses, and they have been at the heart of our decision-making when striking this rate. This rate was achieved despite our borough having the largest drop in GVA previously and losing more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs in recent years.

“Local government reform is delivering for our ratepayers and we continue to see local decision-making bring substantial improvements for the citizens of the borough.”