Uttlesford approves 2021-22 budget plans

Uttlesford District Council has agreed its budget for 2021-22.

The budget papers, which set out the council's spending plans over the next financial year, were debated and voted on by councillors at a meeting of Full Council (23 February).

As part of the budget papers, councillors approved a £5 per year increase - about 10p a week - for the district council portion of the Council Tax bill. This means the average Band D property will be paying £161.61 for services provided by the district council. This will give the authority around £190,000 extra funding to provide services for the year.

Members also approved the Commercial Strategy 2021-2025, which sets out the council's plans to address the reduction in funding it gets from central government. The strategy includes current and proposed commercial investments, income from which will provide £5.4m in 2021-22.

Alongside the council tax increase, the extra income from the investments means the council has been able to protect all services for next year as well as fund important initiatives. This includes putting £1m over three years towards climate change projects and £1m to support the high street and local economy recovery programmes, as well as additional resource for the planning service.

Cllr Neil Hargreaves, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Budget, said: "We know the past year has been extremely tough for many of our residents, and increasing council tax is not a decision we take lightly. However, we are committed to providing value for money services and this modest increase in council tax, alongside the income from the investments, will help us to continue to support the district's recovery as we come out of the coronavirus pandemic."

The budget report and papers can be viewed on this website.

Notes

Although Uttlesford District Council sends out Council Tax bills it does not keep all the money - it only keeps about 9p in every £1 collected. The rest is split between Essex County Council (about 71p in every £1 collected), Essex Police (about 11p), the Fire Service (about 4p) and the town and parish councils (on average about 5p).

Ultimately, residents in the Uttlesford District will face an average increase of 2.01% in their total Council Tax for the 2021/2022 financial year, amounting to a total bill of £1,884.72 for the average band D property - an increase of £37.05 on the previous year. The total will vary across the district due to the different precepts taken by town and parish councils.

The breakdown of annual Council Tax for a Band D property in 2021/22 will be:

Essex County Council - £1,340.91 (which comprises a 1.5% increase for the adult and social care precept)

Essex County Fire and Rescue - £73.89

Essex Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner - £208.53

Average town/parish councils - £99.78

Uttlesford District Council - £161.61

2 March 2021

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