Sunderland council plans to freeze council tax

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Sunderland Council is to discuss a proposed freeze to council tax.

A full decision on both the budget and council tax are to be debated at a full council meeting on 2 March.

The Labour-controlled council said the tax freeze was part of a budget that introduced more efficiencies and savings. It is also in line with government guidelines.

Following the government's spending review the council faces a budget reduction of almost £58m in 2011-12.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson said: "The council tax freeze is part of a budget that is introducing more efficiencies and savings.

'Lowest bill'

"It is also a budget that contains a range of measures for improving and investing in services, supporting services and encouraging economic development and regeneration."

The council said because of the proposed freeze, indications were that Sunderland's council tax was "again likely to be the lowest tax bill in the Tyne and Wear city region."

The majority of households in Sunderland are in tax bands A and B.

The tax in Sunderland raised approximately £95m last year - just over 12% of the total budget, towards a gross budget of £784m.

Gross expenditure for 2011-12 is planned at £745m.

Last year, Government grants of more than £558m helped to fund the council's budget in addition to income from services such as licensing and planning.

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