Breckland Council Cabinet voted to support draft “balanced budget” proposals
at a meeting on 10th January, Councillors discussed a draft budget for 2022-23 which is balanced and enables the delivery of a range of initiatives, despite ongoing challenges such as the pandemic and falling central government funding.
The draft budget will be presented to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission later this month before being put to a vote with all members at Council in February. In December, the draft budget was made available for public comment and people are still able to share their views through the council’s website.
The proposed budget would see Breckland continue to have the lowest district council tax rate in Norfolk – and among the very lowest in the whole country, while maintaining its core services, and investing in initiatives to enhance the district for residents and support local businesses.
This will enable Breckland Council to continue to be in a strong position to keep investing in its corporate priorities because it knows these matter to all Breckland residents. These include: investing in its goal to achieve NetZero carbon emissions by 2035; its Thriving Places priority to build a strong economy in Breckland; its Inspiring Communities priority to help every resident live a safe and healthy life, including those who are most vulnerable and the Working Smarter programme to deliver services in the most cost-effective way possible.
Despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the future of funding from central government, Breckland Council believes it can achieve this balanced budget by implementing efficiencies and a small rise in annual district Council Tax.
The proposal would see district Council Tax raised by £4.95 per year for a Band D property. This means that from April 2022, a Band D household would pay £103.68 per year: the equivalent of £1.99 per week. However, around three-quarters of Breckland residents live in Band A-C homes and so would see a smaller tax increase.
Cllr Philip Cowen, Breckland Council’s Executive Member for Finance Revenue and Benefits, said: “We’re in a position to deliver a balanced budget for 2022/23 thanks to our careful financial planning in the past and present. For less than the price of a coffee a week, we’re able to fulfil the everyday functions you expect from your district council, like collecting your bins and deciding planning issues.
“Beyond that, we’re also able to invest in ambitious programmes to help our residents adapt to this changing world, such as our work to address your concerns about climate change, and programmes to promote all our residents’ health and wellbeing, both physical and mental.
“A majority of Breckland households would pay less than £99 a year in district council tax, while receiving the equivalent of £753 of services per household, thanks to Breckland Council’s prudent financial planning and management of resources.”
Details of the draft budget proposals can be found at www.breckland.gov.uk/budget2022. Any feedback on the budget proposals should be sent to email@example.com before the closing date of 23 January, so these can be considered before the draft budget proposals are finalised.