Council outlines proposed budget with promise of frontline service investment if accepted
A district council is seeking the public’s views on its proposed 2021/22 budget which, if adopted, would see investment made in a number of frontline services.
Breckland Council says its draft budget will protect current frontline services from cuts, and see investment made in services, including animal welfare, fly-tipping, business support, Covid compliance and climate change.
This is in addition to a previously announced enhanced waste collection service.
Despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic and its potential impact on central government funding and returns of local investments next year, the council believes it can achieve this strengthening of services in 2021 by implementing efficiencies and a small rise in annual district council tax.
The proposal would see district council tax raised by £4.95 from April 2021, to £98.73 for Band D properties, the equivalent of £1.90 per week.
However around three-quarters of Breckland residents live in Band A-C homes and so would see a smaller tax increase, with the district expected to remain among the very lowest in the country for council tax.
Breckland’s cabinet members are due to review the draft budget in January.
The council is currently inviting residents to share their views on the proposals so this can be taken into account when finalising the budget before it goes before all council members for consideration in February.
Councillor Philip Cowen, Breckland's executive member for finance and delivery, said: "Our past and present financial planning means we’ve been able to put forward not only a budget that avoids cuts to existing services, but one that seeks to further enhance them.
"For less than the price of a coffee a week, we’re able to fulfil all the normal district council functions like collecting people’s bins and determining planning issues, while also launching programmes that protect vulnerable residents from harm and create new employment opportunities, and invest in new support that people tell us they want to see such as climate change and animal welfare.
“Your district council generates income from a range of sources, including commercial investments and services provided to other authorities, which in return bring benefits to our residents and businesses.
"The vast majority of households would pay less than £99 a year in district council tax, while receiving the equivalent of £750 of services per household.”
People can see the budget consultation details at www.breckland.gov.uk/consultations and share their feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments must be received before the closing day of Friday, January 22.