October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Nearly of half of Breckland residents want the council to increase council tax by the maximum possible, according to the results of the survey about how it fills a projected £3m budget shortfall over the next five years.
Nearly 750 people completed the Could We? Should We? questionnaire after the council held five public meetings in the district’s market towns.
Opposition to the introduction of parking charges dominated comments from local businessmen and residents, and only 7.8pc of people surveyed wanted the council to recoup the entire £300,000 cost of running the car parks from fees.
However, respondents were more evenly split about whether the council should keep parking completely free, which was backed by 50.8pc, or introduce charges after one or two hours, which was backed by 41.4pc.
Breckland Council currently has the lowest district council tax rate in the country, but 46.9pc of residents said they wanted it to increase council tax by the maximum possible.
One third wanted tax to be pegged to the level of inflation, and 20.2pc wanted the current council tax freeze to be continued.
Residents were also asked to rank 10 council services it could cut or reduce to save money.
Regular street cleaning, a community safety service and CCTV provision were the most highly valued, while the council’s Voice magazine and funding for sports and the arts came bottom.
The results will now be considered by councillors as they decide the future of council finances.