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Breckland Council Tax rises amid fears for the vulnerable

Breckland people will be hit with a 5pc increase in their council tax bills.
Breckland Council tax rises

Breckland people will be hit with a 5pc increase in their council tax bills. 

The rise, approved by the district council on Thursday morning, will see the authority’s element of council tax on a Band D property rise by £4.95 to £103.68 for 2022/23. 

Breckland District Council’s (BDC) council tax charge remains the lowest of all district authorities in the county. Council tax is also made up of elements going to the county council, police and parish councils. 

The rise came as part of the council’s budget, which the Conservative-led administration said would protect services, and see investment in communities, businesses and help tackle climate change. 

The budget came under fire from opposition members, who put forward a series of amendments. 

The opposition- made up of Labour, Independent and Green groups – argued the budget did not do enough to support the vulnerable.

The amendments included allocating £100,000 to a household support fund providing £200 grants to those in need, allocate £250,000 to tackling homelessness, and to recruit a food waste reduction officer to educate people about maximising the use of the food they buy. 

Terry Jermy, leader of the Labour group on the district council, said most opposition councillors had voted in support of the last two years’ budgets but they felt ignored this year. 

He said: “Our budget amendment seeks to provide immediate support to those residents in the Breckland area that are most in need whilst we work on longer-term solutions to address the most pressing problems.” 

Conservative councillors argued they could not support the amendments because they duplicated existing work or they did not have the long-term sustainable funding to keep them going. 

The amendment was defeated. 

Presenting the budget report, Phil Cowen, the cabinet member for finance revenue and benefits said the budget meant the majority of households will pay around £100 in council tax and get the “equivalent of £750 on services” in return. 

The budget was approved by a majority. 

Norfolk County Council rubber-stamped its 2.99pc increase in the share of council tax bills which go to County Hall on Monday.  

The police and crime commissioner agreed a 3.59 pc increase on the share of bills that goes to Norfolk Constabulary earlier this month. 

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