A council has defended its decision to increase its council tax precept by more than 40pc for people living in a market town.

Fakenham Town Council has explained the hike in its share of council tax by saying years of keeping increases to a minimum had to stop due to the pressure of “rising inflation".

It also said essential maintenance work on buildings, such as the cemetery entrance, had to be funded.

The increase has seen the town council bill for a band D property rise by £37.87.

People took to Facebook to ask why their tax had seen a 42pc increase, with one person commenting on a post discussing the decision on the town’s community noticeboard “Why has Fakenham town council put up their share by 42.1pc, what do we get for this?”

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Eastern Daily Press: Fakenham Town Council said the spike in council tax comes due to the pressure of inflation Fakenham Town Council said the spike in council tax comes due to the pressure of inflation

A spokeswoman for the council said: “When it met to consider the 2024/25 precept at its December budget meeting Fakenham Town Council debated the implications at great length, knowing that seeing it increase would be of concern to some residents.

“The council has tried, and managed, for many years to keep increases to a minimum. However, those years have had to come to an end.

Eastern Daily Press: People in Fakenham have questioned the bill spikePeople in Fakenham have questioned the bill spike (Image: Aaron McMillan)

“Due to inflationary pressures, the costs of looking after our parks, cemeteries and public spaces have increased dramatically.

"For example, energy costs for council-maintained street lighting have increased by over a third. Add to that the increased cost of repairs, fuel and other necessities and the figures sadly mount up.

“Residents may have seen that extensive repairs to the roof of Creake Road Cemetery entrance archway were carried out, as the roof was leaking badly.

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“Further work is needed to keep this structure in good order, which is included in the 2024-25 budget. Other essential maintenance work on council-owned buildings is also needed.

“The only option other than to allow neglect and deterioration on the estate, was for the council to raise the 2024-25 Estate Maintenance budget with some future proofing, and subsequently agree to the increase in the town council element of the precept grant.”