Attleborough councillors raise precept on taxpayers by 39pc - a £111,000 increase

Attleborough Town Hall

Attleborough Town Hall - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A town council has raised its precept by 39pc to 'catch up' with a shortfall in the budget.

Attleborough Town Council agreed to raise its precept for the 2016/2017 financial year from £280,995 to £392,821 at a full council meeting last night.

The rise will see those living in Band D properties pay 55 pence more per week, an extra £28.52 a year - up from £85.16 to £113.68.

A statement from the town council said its 'budget has not been in line with its precept request for several years'.

It said that a grant to the town from Breckland Council had also been reduced, which 'impacted on figures'.

Tony Perkins, Attleborough mayor, said: 'It's disappointing to have to do it but in the conditions we feel if we don't take a stance this year then it will catch up with us in the future.

'It stems back from previous years when we maybe haven't increased it as much as we should have, so we are trying to catch up as it is.

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'We are conscious about it and talked it through at great length. It equates to about 55p per week, which may sound like a lot but is a relatively small amount per household.'

He said the council was trying to be 'proactive' and that, with Attleborough's impending growth, councillors wanted to ensure residents had access to adequate facilities.

Karen Pettitt, district councillor for Attleborough, said: 'We are still in times of austerity and, although I think there does need to be a rise, I think it is too much. It will come as a lot of money for some people. We have a very well used food bank in the town which shows there are people that cannot afford this.'

It comes as Breckland Council, which currently charges one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, proposes raising its tax by 2pc each year.

The town council's share of the bill equates to about 5pc - Norfolk County Council makes up 76pc, with Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner at 14pc and Breckland Council at about 5pc.

Wymondham is yet to decide changes to its precept, but any increase is expected to be minimal, while last month Thetford Town Council raised its precept by 6.75pc.

• What do you think of the increase? Leave your views in the comments below or email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk