Broadland District Council freezes its share of council tax in latest budget

Broadland District Council set its budget at the full council meeting tonight. Pictured is council l

Broadland District Council set its budget at the full council meeting tonight. Pictured is council leader Andrew Proctor. - Credit: Submitted

Broadland District Council has tonight frozen its share of council tax.

Broadland District Council has again frozen its share of council tax – but with a warning that future increases are inevitable.

At the full council meeting last night, the authority's 2015/16 budget was unanimously agreed across all parties with the backdrop of the impending general election and uncertain funding ahead.

Councillors welcomed the budget, saying in the current economic climate it was a good deal for residents.

But millions could be drawn from the council's reserves by 2020, despite the fund being untouched during 2014/15. In 2015/16, £711,760 will be spent – and by 2020 that figure is set to reach £6,793,261,

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The authority said its reserves could not finance the budget deficit indefinitely and council tax increases or changes in service delivery would 'inevitably be required in a few years' time'.

The decision to keep the slice of council tax unchanged will mean people will pay an average of £1,533 per annum (Band D), although a 1.5pc rise could come in 2018/19.

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Council tax bills are made up of portions paid to the county council, districts, parishes and the police authority.

Broadland's portion is still £111.15, but some parishes have increased by 4.4pc and the police precept by 2pc.

Some £2.3m has already been lost from capital spending over the next year; the majority of that figure because of the end of a major eco-community project.

Long-term, major capital schemes will lose funding as the total allocated to them falls from £3,596,000 last year to a projected £1,283,500 by 2020.

But cash for many services, including disabled facilities and bridge repairs, remain unchanged while cash for street lighting will increase over the next five years.

Some £60,000 has been put aside for a refurbishment of the council's Thorpe Road base.

The council also agreed to boost the economic success of the district with the approval of the Broadland Business Plan 2015/19.

Acle's Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out guidance for future development in the area, was given the green light by members after a local referendum.

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