Budget proposals go before Cabinet » Babergh Mid Suffolk

Posted by Communications on 28 January 2022 | Comments

Babergh District Council is considering increasing its element of council tax by 2% this year – to ensure continued investment in residents’ quality of life.

A budget report going before Cabinet next month proposes a 2% increase to council tax – which means an extra £3.48 per year, or 29p per month, for an average Band D household.

Babergh District Council cabinet member for finance, Cllr Simon Barrett, said:

“We must deliver a balanced budget, year on year, which enables us to continue to provide essential services and support to our residents, businesses and communities.

“Covid-19 has presented additional challenges for the council, but we have demonstrated that we are in a strong financial position, with reserves and funding received from the Government helping mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.

“We have managed to resist introducing short term parking charges and still have money to invest in our market towns – part of our local ‘levelling up’ to support our high streets during their post-pandemic recovery.

“With a relatively modest increase to this year’s council tax, we can continue to provide value for money, deliver excellent services and invest in our district, so our residents can enjoy the best possible quality of life.”

Sheltered housing charges and garage rents also remain frozen at 2021/22 levels, but Babergh District Council tenants face a proposed increase of 4.1% to their rents, to cover inflation and allow investment in improving the quality of council homes.

This means average weekly social rent would increase by £3.72 from £91.78 to £95.50.  For affordable housing, weekly rents would increase by £5.23 from £127.42 to £132.65.

Cllr Barrett, said:

“We must continue to find the balance between ensuring our council housing is affordable, while still being able to invest in bringing homes up to the best possible standard for our tenants.

“Our teams have been working hard to clear the backlog of work that inevitably built up when we were unable to access people’s homes to carry out repairs due to Covid, but we now face the additional impact of a nationwide increase in material costs.

“This increase comes after five years of annual rent reductions up to 2020, and simply brings rental back in line with inflation, plus providing a small contribution to improving the quality of our homes for our tenants.”

If approved by Cabinet on February 7, the proposed budget will go before Babergh’s Full Council on February 21, ahead of council bills landing on doormats from April.

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