Breckland council tax jumps 5.3pc

Council tax bills in Norfolk could rise again. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Council tax bills in Norfolk could rise again. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

People living in Breckland will have to pay more in their council tax bills this year after the council agreed on a 5.3pc increase.  

On Thursday, Breckland District Council approved plans to increase its council tax to £98.73 per year for a Band D property - a £4.95 increase over the 2020-21 levels. 

However, Councillor Philip Cowen, executive member for finance and growth said most people could expect a smaller rise, as around 75pc of houses in the district are bands A-C. 

Breckland Council. Picture: Ian Burt

Breckland Council. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Eight recommendations were agreed in the budget including a council tax rise, setting aside £65,000 for a council tax hardship fund, and approval of full-time positions for digital staff. 

“It is with enormous pride that I can announce that team Breckland has produced a balanced budget for the year 2021/22," Mr Cowen said.

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"Further, this has been done without a dilution of services or any other sacrificial lambs being led to their proverbial slaughter.

"This budget protects frontline services from cuts and a number of services will be enhanced."

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The budget received broad cross-party support, with Councillor Terry Jermy, leader of the Labour group, praising the Conservative-led council for taking on their concerns in the preparation stage.

Norfolk County Councillor Terry Jermy. Picture: Conor Matchett

Norfolk County Councillor Terry Jermy. Picture: Conor Matchett - Credit: Archant

Mr Jermy said he had been particularly concerned about the impact of council tax on the least well off.

"Thankfully this year additional safeguards have been built-in with the introduction of a new £65,000 hardship fund and I thank the cabinet for doing this.

"Without this safeguard built-in, I doubt I could have supported the budget."

Breckland Councillor Philip Cowen. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Breckland Councillor Philip Cowen. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Mark Bullimore/Mark Bullimore Ph

However, Green Party members said there were elements of the budget they could not support, with councillor Timothy Birt saying he thought the council's climate plan is "far too weak".

Councillors approved the budget and raising council tax for 2021/22.

Tim Birt

Tim Birt, Green Party councillor at Breckland - Credit: Breckland Council

Breckland residents in a Band D property will also have to pay £1,472.94 to the county council and £278.01 for the police in their council tax bills.

Norfolk County Council rubber-stamped its 3.99pc increase in the share of council tax bills which go to County Hall on Monday. 

The police and crime commissioner agreed a 5.68pc increase on the share of bills that go to Norfolk Constabulary earlier this month. 

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