Ratepayers in Diss are set to pay for their council tax bills
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Ratepayers in Diss will have to fork out more for their council tax this year after the town council agreed to increase its share of the council tax.
It was agreed at a full council meeting on Wednesday to raise the council's precept by 9.4pc, which means an extra £1.17 a month for a Band D bill - or £14.02 per year.
Mike Bardwell, town mayor, said it was a necessary step, as a reduction in government grants meant the council's budget had dipped by £43,000 over the past four financial years.
Mr Bardwell said: 'The town council is always reluctant to increase its share of the council tax, however this year councillors concluded unanimously that it was the only option to maintain and improve our services and facilities.
'The town council's share of the council tax is relatively small – last year it was around 9pc, but we are also aware that these small increases do all add up.
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'We will be reviewing all our services in order to continue to make savings and to prevent significant increases in future.'
There are 2,669 households which fall into the Band D category.
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Deborah Sarson, town clerk, said: 'During these difficult financial times, we understand that increases are unwelcome.
'However, with reductions in services from district and county councils, the town council is taking on more responsibilities.
'We've worked hard on the budget to keep the increase to an absolute minimum, whilst allowing us to maintain and improve our services as set out in our strategy plan.'
The council hopes to use the extra money to continue to deliver its three-year strategy plan, which was adopted in May last year.
The plan helps focus resources into four key priority areas - community engagement, infrastructure, heritage and facilities and improving efficiency in all council activity.
This year will also see the council develop a neighbourhood plan, working with the community and the adjoining parishes to shape the future of Diss' development.
It will also see the completion of the Heritage Triangle Project, which it is hoped will create a major visitor attraction in our town as well as supporting independent traders, and provide new public open spaces.