South Norfolk’s share of council tax increases for a second year
- Credit: Extinction Rebellion
Council tax bills are to rise by 3.4pc in South Norfolk, with a council leader insisting: 'You are always better off with the Conservatives.'
South Norfolk Council has approved the rise for its share of the council tax bill, which means Band D properties will see a rise from £145 to £150 for the 2019/20 year.
It is the second year that the district has increased council tax by £5.
Yvonne Bendle, South Norfolk's cabinet member for housing, said: 'We are trying to ensure a balanced budget. The tax is still way below most places, for which we give an enormous amount of service above and beyond our statutory duties, such as the leisure centre in Long Stratton.'
For Band D properties in South Norfolk, the amount of tax which goes each year to Norfolk authorities, including the district, county and parish councils and the police and crime commissioner, is expected to increase by around £71.09 from £1,765.32 in 2018-19 to £1,843.73 in 2019-20. However this figure includes average town and parish council tax costs, which range in different areas.
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At the meeting on Monday, council leader John Fuller said: 'Some things never change. You're always better off with the Conservatives.
'Our pledge to the people of South Norfolk is to run the council in a long-term sustainable manner whilst having a council tax in the lowest quartile of any district in the country.
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'Freezing council tax in eight years out of 12, the increase in the South Norfolk levy is fully two-thirds less than it would have been had we just stuck at inflation over the same period. That is a record to be proud of.'
The council is also looking into increasing the premiums imposed against houses left empty long-term, and allowing full council tax discounts to care leavers.
This month it was reported that more than 200,000 homes are left empty in the UK, and last year Norfolk County Council committed £5m to develop housing for young care leavers.
Ms Bendle said: 'We all feel that care leavers do need some help. We already have a very good council tax system for care leavers that's been in place for six years now and has been very successful.'
Climate change protesters Extinction Rebellion peacefully protested at the meeting by brandishing banners with the message 'protect the Wensum Valley' and demanded that the council declare a climate emergency.