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Babergh District Council proposes 3 per cent tax rise in 2020/21 budget to meet demands of financial landscape

The first draft of Babergh District Council’s budget for 2020/21, which includes a three per cent increase to the annual tax bill, will be considered by councillors next week.

The budget, if approved, would see an average band D property pay £5 more per year in council tax, with increases ranging from an extra £3.33 for the smallest band A properties, to £10 for the largest band H properties.

Council house rents would also go up by 2.7 per cent, although they remain lower than in 2015/16, due to reductions over the last four years.

Babergh District Council, Endeavour House, Ipswich (26397779)
Babergh District Council, Endeavour House, Ipswich (26397779)

The council says the increases are due to the changing financial landscape, including cuts to funding from central Government.

John Ward, Babergh District Council leader, said: “We do not take the decision to increase council tax lightly and understand the impact on our Babergh residents.

“Similarly, we know that our council tenants will not welcome an increase in rent, but this is necessary so that we can maintain homes to the standard they expect, and also meet future social housing demand.

“By taking these difficult decisions, we can propose a 2020/21 budget which, despite the financial challenges we face, protects and enhances our services to residents.”

Babergh’s cabinet will consider the budget on Thursday, before it is assessed by the scrutiny committee on Monday, January 20.

If it is green-lit by the full council in February, the budget will take effect on April 1.