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council tax to rise by 0pc - council chiefs hope

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:27 07 July 2010

Council chiefs in Breckland have agreed to aim for a 0pc increase in their council tax charge next year.

They say it would yet again make Breckland the cheapest authority in the country when it comes to what residents pay in council tax.

Council chiefs in Breckland have agreed to aim for a 0pc increase in their council tax charge next year.

They say it would yet again make Breckland the cheapest authority in the country when it comes to what residents pay in council tax.

But it means the possibility of charging for car parking in the district has been raised and staff at the authority have been tasked with cutting 10pc off their budgets.

It comes as income made by the council through people developing property and selling homes has dropped by £236,000 because of less work done by the planning department and land charges income, according to the report to Tuesday's cabinet meeting at Breckland.

It said recycling credits had also been reduced by £120,000 and what the council makes on cash investments is expected to plummet from 3.9pc this year to 1.73pc in 2010/11.

However, savings of £355,000 had been made through how the council runs the concessionary bus fare scheme and a total saving of £1.4m was expected to be made through efficiency savings.

Extra cash could be raised from increased building control fees and new charges to land lords taking part in the choice based lettings system, according to the report.

The report adds: “It is an observation of our budget and of our medium term financial strategy that there remains an opportunity to consider the introduction of charging for off street car parking.”

Mark Finch, head of finance, told the cabinet: “The key is the zero per cent increase in council take which will keep us as the lowest council tax in a district in the UK.

“The budget is for consultation and remains a work in progress. We have efficiency targets to meet and we aim to address those during the consultation period.”

The report says the precept requirement for 2010/11 is £2.7m, council tax for a band D property would be £64.05 as last year and changes to fees and charges are proposed from April 2010.

Residents in Thetford, Dereham, Bawdeswell and Watton would have to pay more because they have street lighting costs to pay for on top of what everyone else pays because these are not covered in their town council precepts.

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