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Hefty rise in Diss council tax

PUBLISHED: 16:48 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:26 12 July 2010

Residents at Diss are facing the highest annual parish precept in the district following a hefty 33pc increase to fund local projects and urgent repairs to town council-owned facilities.

Residents at Diss are facing the highest annual parish precept in the district following a hefty 33pc increase to fund local projects and urgent repairs to town council-owned facilities.

The demand for an extra £85,000 this financial year will see the precept soar from £257,991 to £343,057 from April 1.

It means an average Band D household in Diss will pay £128 in council tax for services provided by the town council - which is double that required by South Norfolk's other market towns of Wymondham (£64.56) and Harleston (£60) - the second highest levy being in rural Wacton (£96.89) where grass cutting and helping fund a new village hall are among the main expenditure.

The Diss parish precept is also higher than that charged by comparable market towns in other parts of the county, such as Swaffham - £67.36 for a Band D property and Aylsham - £96.93.

However, Mayor of Diss, Simon Olander explained that the town council is going to upgrade the park and refurbish the Corn Hall, as part of a move to make Diss a more attractive place to live, and encourage visitors. Both require substantial funding which the council is having to provide, while other communities may not be planning any major projects.

“If the precept was too low and we did nothing in the town, we would get people saying in a year's time 'Why is the park in such a mess, and the Corn Hall falling to pieces?' We did go to South Norfolk Council for financial assistance, but we didn't get a lot of uptake. We endeavoured to get external funding for these projects, but it wasn't forthcoming, so we have had to proceed,” he said.

Other costs include reviving the annual Diss Carnival, £5,000 towards the Christmas lights display, and urgent repairs to a chapel and roads at the cemetery, and repairs to the town athletics track.

The parish precept is part of the overall council tax bill which also comprises demands from the county and district councils and police authority.

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