Broadland residents to pay 3.5pc more in council tax
- Credit: Archant/Broadland District Counc
Broadland District Council has agreed to raise its council tax by 3.5pc despite opposition.
The increase will see a Band D property in Broadland pay an extra £4.39 to the district council, up from £125.52 to £129.91.
The increase will raise more than £200,000 for the Conservative-controlled council, as it looks to balance the budget.
An additional £3.64 per year will also be included to cover the council's special expenditure - funding for essential works such as lamp column replacement.
A report by Rodney Fincham, the council’s assistant director of finance, set out a possible funding gap developing in 2022/23 of around £1m.
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This gap is due to an anticipated reduction in the new homes bonus grants – a government scheme to incentivise house building.
Council leader Shaun Vincent said: “While no one wants to see a council tax rise in these difficult times it has been necessary to enable the ambitions and aims of the council.”
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The Liberal Democrat group tabled an amendment proposing an alternative budget which called for council tax to be frozen, with £204,837 worth of funds drawn from the general reserves to cover the shortfall.
Lib Dem councillor Steve Riley said the council was sitting on reserves far higher than the minimum required, with almost £4.5m in the bank.
“By funding from reserves this means there would still be £4.2m - this is still far higher than the £2m recommended by the 151 officer.
“I do not agree that this is the right time to put up council tax.”
Mr Riley urged the council to think of residents who may be facing hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Lib Dem amendment was defeated, 12 for to 28 against.
Responding to the defeat, Ms Trudy Mancini-Boyle, cabinet member for finance, said next year could be even worse so drawing on reserves now would not be wise.
She said: “It isn’t to fill our coffers, it’s to be prudent.”
The budget and council tax rise was approved by the council.
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.
The police and crime commissioner agreed a 5.68pc increase on the share of bills that go to Norfolk Constabulary earlier this month.