Labour backs 7.8pc tax rise proposed by Breckland Council Conservatives

Terry Jermy, Breckland Labour leader Terry Jermy, Breckland Labour leader

Sunday, February 3, 2013
10:20 AM

Labour councillors have backed a 7.8pc council tax increase proposed by Breckland Council’s Conservative administration.

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Well-used - the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham.; Photo: Bill SmithWell-used - the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham.; Photo: Bill Smith

The tax rise would see the element of council tax set by the district rise by £4.98 a year to £69.03 for band D properties.

Terry Jermy, Labour leader on Breckland Council, said: “The level of council tax increase proposed will be disappointing for many, but it was something that was consulted upon and it is a necessary measure to prevent even further cuts to essential services.

“The way in which this Conservative-led government is starving local councils of vital funds whilst granting a tax cut to millionaires is frankly outrageous.”

The tax increase will not need to be approved in a referendum.

The government had said any rise above 2pc required a public vote, but in December it relaxed the rules to allow councils with low tax levels, such as Breckland, to put bills up by up to £5 a year.

Speaking on Friday, Breckland Council leader William Nunn said he stood by the decision to freeze council tax in the previous three years, but was recommending what could could be the highest percentage rise in the country this year.

He said: “I’m saying quite openly I’m going to go for the amount I’m allowed to raise because of differentiation in historic data to at least start to balance the gap between savings and income.”

In Breckland Council’s budget consultation last autumn, 47pc of people said they supported increasing council tax “by the maximum possible”, although at the time they were told this was likely to be 3.5pc.

A total of 33pc supported a tax rise in line with inflation, and 20pc wanted to see council tax frozen.

Mr Nunn also revealed on Friday that the council would not introduce car parking charges in Dereham, Thetford, Swaffham, Watton and Attleborough.

23 comments

  • So government u-turn means all taxpayers of Breckland get shafted to subsidise townsfolk and buisnesses. What happened to the rhetoric about value for money and local accountability, reneged upon as we've come to expect. This is as outrageous as the increase in the police precept, sneaking in almost the maximum possible before a vote would have been triggered, thus depriving the electorate of their say on the matter.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • Should the heading not read Breckland Conservatives proposed 7.8 pc tax rise is supported by Labour?

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    leslie cater

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • The issue of Car Parking fees is a smoke screen to divert attention away from the proposed 7.8% hike in council tax for Breckland residents. Factor in the 1.8% increase the Police Commissioner (Stephen Bett) has said he needs, plus any increase from Norfolk County Council and Breckland residents are potentially looking at a 10% increase in Council Tax this year. That should be the headline. If you are a Breckland resident please take note and make your views known.

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    MediaDoc

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • There should be no more out of town free car parking, not for supermarkets or any other business, it amounts to unfair trade. Whilst inner City car parks are all charged for, out of town large retailers have an advantage with amounts to unfair trading. Planners in Norfolk should work out a mandatory average parking charge and it should apply to all retailers, so inner City parking could not be charged higher than out of town free parking attractants.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Electioneering alert! car drivers take note that 14% of Breckland council taxpayer without a car are subsiding you. Nunn Nunn style.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • So that's an increase of about 9.6p per week. Hardly likely to break the bank!

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    Norfolk Lad

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • How much rent is owed to Breckland Council by Barnham Broom Golf Club? The last time Breckland admitted rent was owed it was 18 months overdue. That was over a year ago. Not a penny more in Council Tax until the rent is paid. If Breckland needs more money sell the golf club. A council has no business in such a project.

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    MediaDoc

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • Car drivers, vote for Breckland's conservatives this is your election call up. William Nunn and his chums have not raised car parking charges for you and rather spread the cost of maintaining them to all council-taxpayers in Breckland, including the 14% who do not drive. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • Well done EDP, keep up the brainwashing, and please block any negative comments. xxx WN

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Yes how great, 14% without a car subsidising the rest, great electioneering.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • That surveyconsultation is complete nonsense. Just over 300 people participated. Breckland are basing this on the views of just 147 people who said they were happy with a Council Tax increase. Fine those people are welcome to send a cheque to Breckland Council. As for me I have had enough of paying more and more of my hard earned money to useless, incompetent administrations who appear to have no idea of what life is like in the real world.

    Report this comment

    MediaDoc

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • My very thought Peter! How very grown up and civilised. Let's hope the other less cooperative Councils take note.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • more electioneering. 14 % of Breckland tax payers do not drive cars.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • At the end of the day, it is less than a fiver! Just about everyone else in the country would love their council tax to have gone up by less than a fiver a year. If Breckland can run the area on £69.03 for a year, then, hats off to them. I would love Waveney to be anywhere nerar as efficient everything else

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I rather think that this has not been thought through by some of those posting. Those who own cars drive (pardon the pun) commerce. They are the ones who can visit wheresoever they please to spend their pounds. But those without cars relying on the less than impressive public transport cannot. With the out of town supermarkets taking more and more of a share of those pounds spent it is essential to lure those car drivers back into town centres. Those who do not drive, sad as it may seem, rely on the car drivers spending their money in town to keep those town centres open. I would far rather shop in town, even though I own a car, but I wont if the streets consist of Poundlands, charity shops and mobile phone emporia. However you squeal this is a sound commercial decision.

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    Electra

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I say EDP, exactly how many people made up the 47pc in favour of the max increase? I hope you are not trying to mislead us again. Is the answer around 350? And what proportion of the population on Breckland is that? Sorry to be a pest, but I got the figures from your other misleading article "nearly half of Breckland residents back 'maximum' council tax increase", oh no they don't. What you meant is nearly half of the piffling "nearly 750 people" who completed the survey were in favour. That's hardly a mandate, so why the need to do Breckland's spinning for it?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I rather think that this has not been thought through by some of those posting. Those who own cars drive (pardon the pun) commerce. They are the ones who can visit wheresoever they please to spend their pounds. But those without cars relying on the less than impressive public transport cannot. With the out of town supermarkets taking more and more of a share of those pounds spent it is essential to lure those car drivers back into town centres. Those who do not drive, sad as it may seem, rely on the car drivers spending their money in town to keep those town centres open. I would far rather shop in town, even though I own a car, but I wont if the streets consist of Poundlands, charity shops and mobile phone emporia. However you squeal this is a sound commercial decision.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Surely the headline should be "sneaky sleight of hand tax grab dressed up as parking charges concession". I don't believe Breckland has never charged for car parking. In these times of austerity, when the coalition government is cutting spending here there and everywhere, including the level of funding given to local government, isn't it good to know the electrorate are still footing the bill somewhere along the line. Central govt could increase taxation, but that would cause uproar nationally, much less damaging politically if taxes are instead raised locally, causing only a tiny ripple of voter irritation. This is what's at the heart of this "story" - last year Breckland had its central govt funding shaved by £0.6 million. Does it look at cutting costs to deal with this? Why would it when there's a captive audience who will soak up the deficit.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I foolishly took the trouble to read the printed version of the EDP today, and on the letters page I found some ridiculous woman actually congratulating Breckland's politicians for working together, behaving like grown ups, not indulging in the usual politicking, etc, etc. Good grief! This is "the usual politicking" at its worst. Sneak in a tax rise with some comforting spin, usual Tories, while Labour jump on the bandwagon because 99% of beneficiaries of freeby car parks are the urban areas which their supportes infest.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • The issue of Car Parking fees is a smoke screen to divert attention away from the proposed 7.8% hike in council tax for Breckland residents. Factor in the 1.8% increase the Police Commissioner (Stephen Bett) has said he needs, plus any increase from Norfolk County Council and Breckland residents are potentially looking at a 10% increase in Council Tax this year. That should be the headline. If you are a Breckland resident please take note and make your views known.

    Report this comment

    MediaDoc

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Good to see the parties working together for the common good.

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    Peter Watson

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • In Breckland Council’s budget consultation last autumn, 47pc of people said they supported increasing council tax “by the maximum possible”. Is this out of the 750 people who responded? I don't see that as a valid representation of public opinion. The increase should have been put to a public referedum but we have been cheated of the chance to veto this nonsense after a government u-turn on their promise to give the public a voice if their council is planning an inflation-busting increase. Needless to say its another broken promise. I am not interested in paying extra tax to subsidise town centre shops and townsfolk who use the car parks daily, but i will not have a choice. Thanks for nothing Eric Pickles and David Cameron.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • One almost fell orf one's chair, why only a week ago Piggles was accusing those local authorities planning tax hikes of "cheating" hard-working taxpayers. And he vowed to get tough with any "democracy dodgers", thinking of increasing council tax by slightly less than 2 percent - his much-hyped threshold for requiring a 'yes' vote in a local referendum. That is unless the council is Breckland. It seems they are special and the 2 percent does not apply to them - bad luck if you live in that district, what what. Imagine if it was the EDP's dear friends at Norwich City Council doing this. Even a 0.0078 percent increase and people would be going bananas.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 4, 2013

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