More tax rises proposed to protect frontline services

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green   PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green PICTURE: Mecha Morton
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Three more organisations moved a step closer to setting their council tax share this week.

Breckland Council proposed a rise of £4.95 for 2018-19, based on a band D property.

The move, discussed on Tuesday, is designed to “protect frontline services” and will go forward to full council later this month.

Philip Cowen, the council’s executive member for finance, said: “Like many councils, we have been affected by central government cuts to public sector funding, which means we have to think carefully about how we balance our budget.

“We will always do what we can to keep the financial burden off local residents but freezing council tax is not an option.”

Meanwhile, residents in South Norfolk could face paying an additional £5 on their annual council tax bill.

South Norfolk Council met to consider the move at its cabinet meeting on Monday, despite freezing the rate for seven of the past nine years.

The news comes as results from a nationwide survey by the Local Government Information Unit predicts that 95 per cent of councils will be forced to raise council tax to keep afloat following cuts to their grant from central government.

Meanwhile, at County Hall, Norwich, on Tuesday, Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green proposed to increase the police share of council tax bills for 2018/19 by 5.5 per cent – a rise of £11.97 per year for a Band D home.

The budget was presented to the police and crime panel and agreed within minutes.

The meeting heard that more than 2,000 people had responded to a public consultation, with most in favour of paying more for police services.

Mr Green said the rise would enable 17 fully warranted police officers on the streets of the county in the next financial year, and an additional six police staff to go into schools to support the current 14 officers, working with pupils