Mid Suffolk, Babergh and Breckland Councils announce tax rises for coming year

Councils announce tax rises
Councils announce tax rises

Three more councils have announced council tax rises for the coming financial year.

Mid Suffolk District Council, Babergh District Council and Breckland Council have announced the rises following a meeting of each full council, last week.

We in local government are facing a big financial challenge, with the central government grant reducing to zero over the next few years

John Whitehead, Mid Suffolk’s portfolio holder for finance

Mid Suffolk approved a 1.64 per cent rise which will mean that residents in the area who live in band D properties will see a council tax rise of £2.61 a year.

However, the council has pledged that those most in need will not pay more than 5 per cent of their council tax bill as it continues its Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Babergh residents will face a rise of 3.4 per cent, meaning with those in Band D will now have to pay an extra £5 a year and those in the largest properties, £10 a year.

Those in need in Babergh will not pay more than 8.5% of their council tax bill under the reduction scheme.

District council tax in Breckland will rise by just under £5 a year from April but is expected to remain the lowest in the country.

Breckland Council members approved a recommendation to increase tax by £4.95 in 2017-18.

The tax rise is also based on a Band D properties but as most people in the district (77%) live in Bands A-C, the majority will see their tax go up by a smaller amount.

Cllr John Whitehead, Mid Suffolk’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “We in local government are facing a big financial challenge, with the central government grant reducing to zero over the next few years.

“In order to continue providing services in our communities, we are going to have to look at other options, and that does include council tax rises, but we are determined to keep this rise proportionate and as low as possible while still safeguarding our services.”

His comments were echoed by Cllr Jennie Jenkins, Babergh council leader. “We are determined to keep our rise both low and proportionate,” said Cllr Jenkins.

Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Breckland’s executive member for finance, said: “Raising council tax is not a decision we have taken lightly but means we can continue to offer high-quality services.”