Families to face tax rise

A FAMILY living in Uttlesford is likely to see their tax bill rise by almost �40 in the next financial year. A typical Band D household will pay a fraction under �1460 for their council, police and fire services – an increase of �36 from last year. The bu

A FAMILY living in Uttlesford is likely to see their tax bill rise by almost �40 in the next financial year.

A typical Band D household will pay a fraction under �1460 for their council, police and fire services - an increase of �36 from last year.

The bulk of the money (�1066) goes to Essex County Council and the rest is divided up between Uttlesford District Council (�143), Essex Police Authority (�128), Essex Fire Authority (�65) and town and parish councils (average of �56).

The district council is set to agree an increase of five per cent to their portion of the council tax at a budget-setting meeting on Thursday February 19.


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Leader of UDC, Cllr Jim Ketteridge, said: "The proposed rise has been very carefully thought through and everyone is of course very aware of the difficult economic times. This budget is designed to protect the council's services and ensure we can carry on delivering those services in the coming years."

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr David Morsen, said that because of the council's financial situation, the opposition party had "no option" but to support the increase.

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"The Liberal Democrats did ask officers to investigate the possibility of a two-and-a-half percent increase, but this would not be enough to cover costs," said Mr Morsen.

Chairman of the council's finance and administration committee, Cllr Robert Chambers, said that anything less than five per cent was unrealistic.

"We want to put the council back into a position where there are reserves in the bank for a rainy day and this is a step towards that," he said. "I don't want to put the council tax up, but under the circumstances it is fair. Our aim is to maintain the services that we give to the public."

In the economic downturn the council faces extra pressure from increased demand for housing and benefits and loss of income from revenues such as planning applications.

The total council tax bill looks likely to rise by about 2.5 per cent, below the current rate of inflation.

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