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Fewer services, higher council taxes - but more reserves

Waveney Labour group has expressed concern that Tory-led Waveney District Council (WDC) is accumulating significant reserves while cutting services and imposing big council tax increases.

Research by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the National Audit Office shows that WDC's reserves have increased by £9.3m to £14.3m since 2010/11, and now stand at 1.5 times its annual expenditure. WDC blames Westminster funding cuts and the council tax freeze imposed on councils between 2010/11 and 2016/17 for the spending reduction.

But Councillor Sonia Barker, leader of the Waveney Labour Group said:

'We oppose the Tory government's funding cuts but WDC must take responsibility for its own decisions. We are concerned that residents are paying more but getting fewer services. WDC has cut services and increased council tax rates despite sitting on significant reserves, and despite shifting a number of expensive liabilities to Lowestoft Town Council, where council tax increases have had to be higher than in predominantly Tory areas elsewhere in Waveney. We voted against WDC's unnecessarily high council tax increase.

'We understand that maintaining some level of reserves is necessary, but this is not the right way to manage our resources. People are paying more but getting less with the Conservatives.'

Please see the Eastern Daily Press for details on the research carried out by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the National Audit Office.

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