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South Norfolk and Babergh Councils vote to raise tax share

Long Stratton, Norfolk. South Norfolk Council offices
Long Stratton, Norfolk. South Norfolk Council offices

Two more councils have decided their share of the council tax bill.

On Monday, South Norfolk Council voted to raise its share by 3.66 per cent, which will equate to a £5 increase per year rise for a band D property. The rate has been frozen for seven of the last nine years.

Babergh District Council, meanwhile, voted on Tuesday to approve its budget for 2018/19, including a 3.25 per cent increase in the tax share, also meaning a £5 per year rise for an equivalent property.

Both councils cited further cuts in funding from central government as a factor in their decisions. The percentage rises are within the limits allowed by government without the need for a referendum.

South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said: “At South Norfolk, we have created an enviable record of high performance, with a relentless focus on delivering more for residents and businesses while investing in infrastructure, like the Long Stratton bypass, and supporting the places and services that make south Norfolk one of the best places to live.

“We said that we would increase council tax by £5 per year and we’ve chosen £5 because it’s honest pricing. It’s also one of the lowest rises in the country.”

Peter Patrick, Babergh cabinet member for finance, said:“It’s no secret that local government is facing a big financial challenge as central government funding is slowly withdrawn. As part of meeting that challenge, we do need to raise our council tax by 3.25 per cent.

“This is not the whole story; we are generating significant investment income.

“Our major property investment vehicle, through which we will borrow to invest, should generate a regular income of approximately £1.1 million per annum, with other long-term investments providing a further £400,000

“Our proposals are far bigger than simply changes in council tax. Through a range of measures, we will continue to provide better value for money.”

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