Breckland Council plans to raise its part of council tax by 5.3pc

Breckland District Council

Breckland Council has launched a new video appointment system. - Credit: Ian Burt

Breckland Council is planning to raise its portion of council tax in order to "protect frontline services from cuts".

The cabinet is set to discuss the proposed 2021/22 budget at a meeting on January 4, which shows the council's plans to raise council tax by £4.95 for Band D properties, a rise of 5.3pc.

The 5.3pc increase would compare to the 4.1pc increases in 2020 and 2019.

Breckland Councillor Philip Cowen. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Breckland Councillor Philip Cowen. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Mark Bullimore/Mark Bullimore Ph

The council has said the draft budget would "protect current frontline services from cuts" and would see investment made in a number of other services including animal welfare, fly-tipping, business support, and climate change.

Despite the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and its potential impact on central government funding, Breckland Council believes it can achieve this strengthening of services in 2021 by a "small rise" in council tax.

The overall council tax bill is made up of what Norfolk County Council, Breckland and town/parish councils levy.

Philip Cowen, Breckland's executive member for finance and delivery, said: "Our past and present financial planning means we’ve been able to put forward not only a budget that avoids cuts to existing services but one that seeks to further enhance them.

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"For less than the price of a coffee a week, we’re able to fulfil all the normal district council functions like collecting people’s bins and determining planning issues, while also launching programmes that protect vulnerable residents from harm and create new employment opportunities, and invest in new support that people tell us they want to see such as climate change and animal welfare.

“Your district council generates income from a range of sources, including commercial investments and services provided to other authorities, which in return bring benefits to our residents and businesses.

"The vast majority of households would pay less than £99 a year in district council tax, while receiving the equivalent of £750 of services per household.”

Breckland Council is planning to set a 2021 budget of £13.7 million, which is a 1.5pc decrease from this year's £13.9m.

Over the next three years, Breckland Council will have to make more than £2.9m worth of cuts and savings, but they insist they will protect frontline services from cuts.

They also said there would be "little scope" for further investment without having to cancel existing projects or borrowing money.

Breckland’s Cabinet members will review the draft budget in January, with the council inviting residents to share their views on the proposals so this can be taken into account when finalising the budget.

People can see the budget consultation details at Comments must be received before January 22.

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