Braintree District Council says tax reduction will not affect front line services

Braintree and Witham Times: Braintree Council is reducing its council tax precept by 1% Braintree Council is reducing its council tax precept by 1%

Braintree Council insists front line services will not be affected after it proposed a one per cent tax reduction.

If approved by cabinet and full council, residents will see part of their council tax bill cut for the second year running.

But some services, including car parks and allotments, will see above-inflation price increases in the council’s latest budget.

An average Band D household will pay £159.57 for 2014/15.

Council leader Graham Butland said: “I am very pleased that through sound financial planning, we are not only meeting this challenge head on and protecting front line services, but are also in a position, unlike many other authorities, to now present a budget which will not only see council tax reduced, but continued investment into key areas.

“We remain an ambitious council, but also a prudent one and I believe the budget being put forward will, if approved, enable us to continue to provide important services at value for money for taxpayers, whilst also allowing us to invest in the specific areas that are important to our residents and businesses.”

The council’s medium-term budget is based on taxes being frozen for 2015/16 and increased by two per cent for the following two years.

Mr Butland believes the council is still on course to make £1.5million of savings from its budget by 2017.

The cutbacks were announced in November in response to cuts in central government funding.

Mr Butland said: “We are in that process already. Times are still going to be tough but we are trying to keep ourselves ahead of the game.

“We are already thinking about next year and how we are going to close that gap.

“We will freeze taxes as a minimum next year, but if we can improve on that we will.”

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