Residents Administration at UDC commits a fourth year of minimal, less-than inflation council tax increase

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) at UDC has announced that its administration intends to deliver a 2023 balanced budget with a fourth year of council tax increases held down to about a penny a day.

Neil Hargreaves (R4U) Neil Hargreaves (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Neil Hargreaves, UDC Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Finance, said “Residents, businesses, and councils are suffering because of inflation made worse by the Westminster government’s pursuit of rash ‘magic money forest’ financial policies. Similar nonsense is being pushed by opposition parties at UDC wanting unfunded spending increases, which is the type of reckless economics that has damaged our national economy. In contrast our administration will present a balanced budget, which Westminster governments have not done for over twenty years.”

Cllr Hargreaves continued “We understand the financial pain many residents are feeling, so our administration at UDC is proposing our fourth year of council tax increases at UDC that are well below the rate-of-inflation. The result will be that the average 2023 district council precept will only rise by 10p a week. This is just over £5 a year in total – which is in stark contrast to the more than £60 a year ECC is expected to add to its precept. UDC’s small increase will allow services to continue, after all we all need our bins collecting. We will also continue UDC’s tax support scheme for those on low incomes, which is the most generous in Essex. Our approach balances the constrained pockets of residents with the need to deliver their council services.”

Cllr Neil Hargreaves concluded “Elsewhere the picture is bleak. Many will have read in the national press that Conservative run Thurrock council is running a £500 million deficit, facing bankruptcy and the axing of services. In contrast at UDC we built a commercial investment programme to try to insulate the funding of local council services from endless government cuts. The portfolio is one of the most successful in the country, making more than £16 million in new income over four years. That is why our UDC administration is in the excellent position to propose only a very modest precept increase for 2023.”

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