Northern Ireland

Derry City Council rate increase

Derry City Council
Image caption Rates in the Derry City Council area are to rise by 2.5%, an average increase of £20 per year

District rates have been struck by Derry City Council and Strabane District Council.

Rates in the Derry City Council area are to rise by 2.5%, an average increase of £20 per year.

Sinn Fein councillor Paul Fleming, who chairs the committee which determines the district rate, said "a positive balance had been struck."

"We have maintained services and there is no threat to jobs," he said.

"We have also built in a number of progressive measures which will benefit the city and district."

SDLP councillor Gerard Diver said the Derry City Council rate was "a figure to be proud of."

"Considering the conflicting demands on the council at the minute and diminishing resources, we have arrived at a rate that offers value for money," he said.

The DUP's Joe Millar described the rate as "probably one of the lowest struck" in his 22 years as a councillor.

Ulster Unionist councillor Mary Hamilton said she was "glad" the rate had been able to be "kept down".

Strabane rate decrease

Strabane District Council has reduced its district rate, agreeing a decrease of 1.79 per cent.

Strabane Council Chief Executive, Philip Faithful, said the reduction "does not mean that services will suffer".

"Waste management is one of our biggest issues," he said.

"We could continue with a negative rates rise every year if we could control the amount of waste going to landfill."

Stormont has yet to strike the regional rate.