Council tax bills across West Norfolk could be frozen

West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney. Picture: Matthew Usher.

West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

West Norfolk's portion of the council tax could be frozen for the fourth year on the trot.

Plans to freeze car parking charges across the borough for a further year are also included in the council's draft budget for next year.

The financial plan will be presented to the borough council's ruling cabinet next Wednesday.

The document shows that the books have been balanced for 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Nick Daubney, the council's leader and cabinet member for resources, said: 'Officers and members have worked hard to identify new ways of working, partnership arrangements and other opportunities to either cut costs or increase income.

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'I am proud of what we have managed to achieve, and pleased that it means we can recommend a council tax freeze and hold car parking charges down for another year.

'Our track record of keeping council tax down is exemplary and that is down to forward planning and prudential financial management. We cannot however be complacent, as our grant funding from government will continue to be cut and we must therefore continue with our ongoing cost-reduction programme.'

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If the budget is approved by the cabinet, it will then be presented to the full council on February 27.

If approved, the borough council's element of the council tax bill will be £111.97 per annum for a Band D property.

Other recommendations within the budget include putting more money into car park promotions to encourage shoppers in our town centres, as well as continuing to provide support to businesses.

Norfolk County Council is also expected to freeze its share of the council tax - which currently stands at £1,145 of the average £1504 bill in West Norfolk.

But police and crime commissioner Stephen Bett hopes to increase Norfolk police's £200 share of the bill by just under 2pc a year or £3.96, to safeguard frontline services.

Mr Daubney said projects in the pipeline represented an investment of around £15m in West Norfolk.

They include refurbishment of the Saturday Market Place, resurfacing of council car parks and the introduction of signs giving real-time information about parking spaces.

Mr Daubney said: 'We have a challenging few years and I have no doubt that this year will prove equally challenging.

'However, I face it with renewed optimism, as forecasts are suggesting that the economy is improving and I believe we have the right mix of investment in our budget that will help West Norfolk take advantage of any opportunities as they arise.'

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