Diss facing council tax rise

Council taxpayers in a Norfolk town are facing a 1pc increase in their bills for the financial year 2012/13.

Diss Town Council agreed to increase its portion of the annual precept by approximately �1.30 for every Band D property at a meeting on Wednesday night.

However, a number of councillors were concerned about the plans, saying they wanted the tax rate to be frozen to help people struggling to cope with the economic downturn.

But councillor Graham Minshull, the town's deputy mayor, said: 'We originally targeted a 0pc increase this year. However, several factors came together to make this almost impossible.

'We always have the problem that withdrawal of funding meant we were several thousand pounds down. We don't receive any relief from the central government whatsoever, we only receive the money from precepts.

'We know people are struggling at the moment and tightening their belts, but this increase is not that bad.'

The council has had to take on extra responsibilities from the county council, including the town's youth centre.

Most Read

He added if tax rates were frozen this year, there was the possibility of a far bigger rise in the future which residents would struggle to budget for.

During the meeting, the councillors also discussed the budget for the forthcoming and slashed �750 set aside to pay for new uniforms for the town council's indoor staff. This money was instead given to the council's leisure and tourism committee to pay for events surrounding next year's London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Concern was also raised about the removal of �2,500 targeted at a potential CCTV system in the town centre, which the police are currently seeking valuations for and plans to give �2,000 to the Diss Museum.

However, town clerk Deborah Sarson said �2,500 grants had already been set aside in previous years' budgets meaning the council already had sufficient funds to be able to support the project.

Cllr Minshull added: 'If we did a 0pc increase then somewhere down the line the money would have to be found. It may be nice to do that, but it would not be prudent in the long term.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter