PEOPLE in the Stratford district will not have to worry about tightening the purse strings after council tax was frozen for the second year running.

Stratford District Councillors set the district element of the council tax at a full meeting of the Council on Monday.

It means an average Band D household for the 2014/15 financial year will pay £128.05 - or £2.46 per week - the lowest in Warwickshire.

Councillor Chris Saint, Leader of the Council, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to freeze council tax, despite receiving 11.6 per cent (£627,000) less core government grant on top of the 31.6 per cent (£2,003,518) reduction over the previous three years.

"We continually strive to provide services at a reasonable cost and work hard for residents to reduce our costs, in line with the national programme to reduce public sector expenditure.

"We don’t underestimate the challenges in future years, but residents can be assured we will continue to manage services in a financially prudent way. "

Meanwhile over the county border, West Oxfordshire District Council has frozen council tax for the fourth year running after setting its budget today (Wednesday) for 2014/15.

The continuing charge of £81.63 for an average Band D household or just over £1.50 per week.

It will also carry on with provisions including free parking across 16 public car parks and is supporting the roll-out of high-speed broadband with a pledge to invest up to £1.6million.

Councillor Barry Norton, council leader, said: “We have put together not only a balanced budget in another year of increased austerity in our public finances but also set out how we will finance our commitment to rural broadband, an initiative which we believe will have on-going benefits for residents, businesses and our local economy in West Oxfordshire.”