Households in Braintree will pay more council tax from April as a ‘difficult year ahead’ warning is issued

Households in Braintree will see their average tax bills for services provided by the District Council rise by £4.95 over the coming year.

This means that for a Band D household, Braintree District Council’s share of council tax will increase from £184.68 to £189.63.

However, parking charges in Braintree are maintained at current levels until a review is completed.

Read more: Latest news on Braintree

The council also said new savings and opportunities of over £523,000 have been identified, helping to balance the books for 2022/2023 with a further £66,000 in future years.

However, the board estimated a significant budget gap of over £1.2m over the next three with an impact of £925,000 on that of 2023/2024.

Councilor Graham Butland, leader of Braintree District Council, speaking to the full council on February 21, said: “The trustees would prefer not to have to increase the tax burden on our residents.

“The 2.68% increase is significantly lower than the rate of inflation and I welcome the recommendations.

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“I believe this is a strong budget by a strong board that will continue to provide high level service to our community.”

Councilor John McKee, Cabinet Member for Business Transformation, said: “Parking charges which were to be reviewed for implementation from April 2022 are maintained at their current rates while parking service is reconsidered.”

He added: “Despite the positive efforts and improvements we have been able to make to our finances, we still have a financial gap over the period of the medium-term financial strategy.

“Our best estimate at the moment is a shortfall of £1.2m and a lot of that has an impact in 2023/24.

“This must also be considered against the high level of uncertainty that exists around our future government funding.”

Opposition Leader Councilor James Abbott said: “I think it’s not really appropriate for Cllr Butland to say it’s below the rate of inflation.

“Inflation under this government is north of 5% and it could well reach 7% and that is on top of the rising cost of living and the impacts, especially fuel.

“Like many people I got a letter from my supplier saying you may well see a change in your bill soon and then there’s the National Insurance increase which I know worries even the Conservative party.

“The story this year is going to be the impact of the cost of living on ordinary people.

“It will be a very difficult year for a lot of people, so we have to be careful of the words we use and we have to recognize what is happening.”

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