District council touts ‘programme of investment’ as tax proposals are announced

PUBLISHED: 09:19 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 07 February 2018

Uttlesford District Council

Uttlesford District Council

Archant

Uttlesford District Council is proposing to increase its share of the Council Tax bill by almost three per cent, according to new proposals.

The authority says it has a programme of investment planned for the forthcoming year and, combined with cuts to its grant from central Government, means it is proposing to increase its share of Council Tax by 2.99 per cent.

The increase equates to an extra £4.28 a year for a Band D property, bringing the bill to £147.21.

Councillor Simon Howell, cabinet member for finance and administration, said: “Despite the challenging financial environment, we are putting forward a balanced budget proposal which invests in the priority areas identified by the public and where it will have the most impact and benefit for our residents.

“Through careful management of the council’s finances we have been able to keep Uttlesford a low cost, high quality council.”

The council said that its spending proposals for 2018/19 included putting extra money across a range of services, including litter picking and police community support officers, as well as funding the final phases of the local plan and to support the proposed garden communities.

Additional funds would also be earmarked, the council said, to support the further rollout of superfast broadband across the district.

The programme of investment comes in the wake of continuing cuts to local authority funding by central Government, which has seen Uttlesford facing a £2.5 million reduction in the funding it receives between 2016/17 and 2018/19.

This shortfall will be partly bridged by a financial contribution of £2 million from Aspire (CRP) Ltd, a council-run company set up to manage its interest in Chesterford Research Park.

The council said it formed its proposal after conducting a survey of residents and business across the district last summer, asking them to put forward their priorities. The council said 1,800 people took part in the survery.

The proposals were discussed by the scrutiny committee on Tuesday and will go on to the full council for final approval on February 22.

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