Freeze on council costs?

PEOPLE in Breckland are set to see a freeze in the amount they pay for services provided by the district council over the next two years - as long as the authority survives.

PEOPLE in Breckland are set to see a freeze in the amount they pay for services provided by the district council over the next two years - as long as the authority survives.

Breckland's cabinet has agreed a draft budget for 2010/11 and as long as it is backed by full council, a band D property will be charged �64.05.

Finance director Rob Barlow said Breckland would maintain the lowest district council tax in the country and still increase spending on services by �253,000.

He said the tax freeze and extra investment had been possible despite the “turbulent economy,” low interest rates and the problems caused by �12m being invested in Icelandic banks.

Deputy leader Bill Smith said finances had been managed very well and the authority was able to keep tax down and maintain services.

He said there had been rumours of up to a 30pc drop in funding from central government and there was also the “spectre” of the local government review which could see Breckland abolished.

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“The people of Breckland would see significant increases in council tax and local government reorganisation would be detrimental.”

So far Breckland has got �1.25m of the money it invested in Icelandic banks back and hopes to get about 80pc back eventually.

Leader William Nunn said the budget had been set on the basis that there would be no increase in money from the government.

“We have to set the budget based on what we know now.”

The amount charged by Breckland is added to levies made by Norfolk County Council, the police authority and town/parish councils to make the overall council tax bills sent out to residents.

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