Babergh District Council agrees 2022/23 budget » Babergh Mid Suffolk
Babergh District Council has agreed its budget for 2022/23, ensuring continued investment in residents’ quality of life.
At February’s Full Council meeting, councillors agreed to increase Babergh’s element of residents’ council tax by 2% – meaning a total of 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 to 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.”
Although Babergh District Council collects council tax from its residents, it gets to keep less than 10% of each household’s payment, with the remainder going to Suffolk County Council, the Police & Crime Commissioner and town or parish councils.
Ahead of council tax bills landing on doormats in April, residents can check their details and let the council know of any changes 24/7 by signing up for an online account. Residents can then opt for paperless billing, check their balance, see instalments, update their details, and see council tax reduction and housing benefit claim information as well as viewing bills online.
Councillors also agreed to freeze sheltered housing charges and garage rents at 2021/22 levels, but Babergh District Council tenants face will see an increase of 4.1% to their rents, to cover inflation and allow investment in improving the quality of council homes.
The increase, in line with Government guidance, means average weekly social rent will increase by £3.72 from £91.78 to £95.50. For affordable housing, weekly rents will 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.”