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Diss town council tax bill to rise much less than expected

Diss, Norfolk. Heritage Triangle in Diss - Heritage Triangle in Diss - Corn Hall on St Nicholas Street ANL-140827-150407001
Diss, Norfolk. Heritage Triangle in Diss - Heritage Triangle in Diss - Corn Hall on St Nicholas Street ANL-140827-150407001

Diss taxpayers can rejoice after new information released this week suggested there will only be a minor increase in their town council tax bill next year.

A new draft of next year’s Diss Town Council budget indicates the average 2015/2016 tax bill will rise by just £2.07 for the Band D taxpayer - amounting to around four pence extra per week.

It was previously thought the average tax bill would probably go up by almost £10, to help cover the town council’s capital loan repayments on a £200,000 investment towards the in-progress Heritage Triangle regeneration scheme.

However, following an examination of the expected budget, councillors determined there was enough headroom to cover repaying the loan.

It is now believed the precept will only grow from £147.83 to £149.90, in order to account for the Cost of Living increase.

Diss town clerk Deborah Sarson said: “The budget won’t be approved until January of next year.

“But it’s now looking as though there won’t need to be an increase. We realised we had sufficient flexibility (in the budget).

“I think it’s good for us to be open and transparent about this sort of thing,” she added.

If the forecasted budget is finalised as it is, the new council tax bill will come into effect on April 1, 2015.

The town council also stated the majority of responses received from their online public consultation on the tax bill had actually been in favour of an increase.

This news coincides with the announcement that the Heritage Triangle project managed to well exceed its goal of £100,000 in donations from local residents and businesses.

In addition to the investment from Diss Town Council, the project reached almost £125,000 in local pledges after a recent campaign via The Big Give raised nearly £34,000.

The Diss Corn Hall Trust described the fundraising as “a great result for a small town.”

Their statement read: “Thanks to everyone who has supported the Corn Hall through the Big Give and many thanks to the Garfield Weston Foundation for making it possible. There is still a bit of time to push the total higher.”

The initiative, which will altogether cost £3 million, will see a rejuvenation of the Corn Hall and surrounding area, as well as the creation of wildlife gardens and a Mere boardwalk.

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