AN introduction of a charge for green waste collections and an increase to council tax have been confirmed following Braintree Council’s budget approval.

The budget proposals, which were finally approved at the full council meeting on Monday, confirmed an intention to introduce a charge for garden waste collections.

The council says the move would be “significant” in closing the 2024/2025 budget gap and in future years.

Braintree and Witham Times: The budget was approved at a full council meeting on Monday eveningThe budget was approved at a full council meeting on Monday evening (Image: N/A)

The green waste charge proposal will be considered at a cabinet meeting on March 13, along with car parking fees.

If approved, those who currently do not make use of the garden waste collection will not be charged if they choose not to sign up to the service.

Residents with gardens can choose to compost their own garden waste rather than opting to pay for a service or dispose of their garden waste at one of the Essex County Council recycling centres.

The district council has also agreed to increase its share of council tax by 2.5 per cent - an extra 9p per week based on a Band D property.

The approved budget also features a number of other items too, including a New Homes Bonus to help vulnerable residents, and a New Homes and Growth Dividend to help during the cost-of-living crisis.

In addition, further investment will be made in services including litter-picking and street cleansing of the A12, the Councillor Community Grant scheme to fund community group activities and projects across the district, and investment into sports and recreation, carbon reduction and community facilities.

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Council leader Graham Butland said: “Every year the council faces financial pressures and challenges, but we have never before experienced the current levels.

“The current wider economic crisis is impacting our finances, like it is all households and businesses, but we’re fortunate that due to our strong financial management, we have been able to set aside over £2million to provide our residents with support during the cost of living crisis.

“We want to ensure we are balancing the need to support our residents through this difficult period, improving and investing in services for the future, and at the same time addressing the budget challenges.

“This budget does this and we will continue to manage our finances well to ensure valuable services can be maintained and protected.”