A planned £5 rise in council tax on an average Band D home has been confirmed by Tendring Council this week. The increase will raise the council's portion of Band D tax £177.64.
The council says the additional income will help it become self-sufficient as the government continues to phase out grant funding for councils – next year Tendring's government grant will amount to £400,000.
In his budget speech to a full council meeting on Tuesday, February 16, TDC leader Neil Stock said: "We must continue to make up the shortfall introduced by the significant cuts to our funding from government over recent years. The £5 increase is only one ingredient to the overall budget and is a compromise we have to make to help deliver on our promise to protect front line services.
“We continue to have one of the lowest levels of council tax in the country and we are effectively building the tax base in very modest increments that will stand us in good stead in future years.”
Stock added that the authority would look not just to pick up projects which had been delayed by Covid-19, but accelerate their delivery. “With this in mind we are aiming to bring together a dedicated delivery team, not by taking people away from their day jobs but by generating additional capacity,” he said. “This accelerated approach also forms a key part of our Back to Business initiative, as we will be looking to spend as much money as we can locally, so our investment will have the knock-on benefit of putting money directly into the local economy. Our Back to Business plan is a really innovative approach to helping our district recover, not just economic recovery but all aspects of the lives of our residents and businesses."
The council's budget was approved unanimously by councillors at the meeting. The Back to Business recovery plan is an item on the Cabinet agenda for Friday’s (February 19) meeting.
Separately the Housing Revenue Account budget was also passed, which includes a 1.5% rise in council rents – bringing the average weekly rent to £84.10. The council says this will allow for continued investment of more than £6m in existing council-owned homes.