Babergh District Council this week voted to approve its budget for 2018/19, including a £5 a year increase in Council Tax.
The budget was voted on this evening (19 February) and comes into effect on 1 April this year and will see council tax rise by 3.15 per cent,
Councillors made the tough decision to increase Babergh’s part of the Council Tax precept by 3.15 percent, equivalent to £5 per annum or just 10p a week for a Band D property. The increase was voted through as Babergh’s Revenue Support Grant from central government drops to zero, down from £2.3m in 2015/16.
However, the council also agreed that young people leaving care will be eligible for a Council Tax discount of up to 100% in order to support some of Babergh’s most vulnerable residents.
The key highlights from the meeting are:
Babergh’s Council Tax reduction scheme remains in place, ensuring that the poorest residents pay just 5 per cent of their bill.
Cllr John Ward, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “As support from central government has continued to decrease, we’ve been asked to make some very tough decisions in Babergh. Our priority has always been to maintain the frontline services our residents rely upon and, by consolidating our staff in a single, fit-for-purpose office, by restructuring how our services are run and by investing to generate an income, we’re far closer to that than many expected.
“However, we also had to make a choice between cutting services or raising council tax: we felt that we all owe a duty to the most vulnerable, who rely on our services, and as such we have had to increase council tax by 3.15 per cent. This is equivalent to just £5 a year for a Band D property and will allow us to continue supporting those who need council services most.”