R4U at UDC delivers balanced budget with low 10p a week district council tax increase and zero district precept for those Uttlesford residents most in need

In light of the economic conditions facing many residents, R4U’s administration at UDC has delivered a balanced budget with only a modest below-the-rate-of-inflation council tax increase, and for those most in need, a £100 grant on top of the most generous discount scheme in Essex.

Neil Hargreaves (R4U) Neil Hargreaves (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Neil Hargreaves, UDC Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Finance, said “It is a difficult financial environment for many councils, so we’re happy to deliver another balanced budget at UDC with no cuts to services, continued £multi-million funding of the manifesto programmes that residents voted for, and council tax increases minimised to well below the rate-of-inflation. We can do this because we fixed the inherited £5m a year finance hole at the council and have worked hard to shift the funding of council services away from local taxpayers and on to income from the council’s commercial property investments. This is despite recent Westminster government impositions seeking to stop councils using their commercial investment earnings to support council services.”

Cllr Hargreaves continued “With soaring bills, many residents are having a difficult time, so we’ve worked very hard to keep the increases to a minimum. Council tax for a band D property will only increase by 10p a week, that is £5 a year. This policy decision is in line with a similar low amount at the other R4U-led administration, Saffron Walden Town Council. Both of these are far below increases by Essex County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner. By comparison, the ECC precept is rising by £60 a year – 12 times the amount of UDC.”

Petrina Lees (R4U) Petrina Lees (R4U)

UDC Leader Cllr Petrina Lees added “Residents shouldn’t have to choose between paying their council tax or feeding their children. UDC already has the most generous Local Council Tax Support scheme (LCTS) in Essex for those that are struggling. This year we have approved an additional LCTS grant. What that means is that those on LCTS in a band D property will effectively pay zero district council tax and we will give them a further £79 credit towards their other council tax precepts. This is in addition to the £150 extra band A-D relief announced by the Chancellor. Through this budget, residents will see that we are absolutely committed to being a fair district that continues to provide high quality services and protects our neighbours when they struggle.”

Visit Uttlesford.gov.uk for information about Council Tax and the upcoming 2022/23 balanced budget.

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