by JULIE-ANN SPENCE
Below inflation rates rise on the cards for
in Lisburn have been handed an unexpected Christmas present with
the news they can expect a below-inflation rate rise next year.
Amid deepening gloom on the economic front,
concerns have been expressed by the Northern Ireland Local
Government Association that, without help from the Finance
Minister, councils would be forced to cut services and introduce
big hikes in bills next year.
However, the chairman of Lisburn's Corporate
Services Committee Councillor Paul Givan said Lisburn Council
had already considered the draft figures for the next year and
he was confident a below-inflation rise could be expected
without cuts to services.
"We have considered the initial draft
estimates," explained Mr Givan, "and we are not expecting a huge
rates hike, nor will we be cutting services in the city. We are
on course to deliver a below inflation rates increase and,
rather than cutting services we will actually be providing
additional funding for services. For example we will be putting
money into Lisburn's CCTV service."
Mr Givan added: "Given the pressures on the
Council, particularly the rise in energy costs, it is impressive
that we are able to provide a below inflation rise and are also
able to enhance some of our services. "