Council tax set for increase

First published in News

A COUNCIL tax rise is set to be handed to Chelmsford residents in a bid to raise £1million over five years.

Chelmsford Council has drawn up its draft budget proposal for the 2013/14 financial year detailing how much money it will spend on services for the next 12 months.

As part of its plan, officers at the council have suggested council tax be raised by 1.98 per cent, about £3.32 per year or 6p a week, which is thought will raise £1million by 2018/19.

The Main Government Grant payment distributed to Chelmsford is due to drop by £685,000 for 2013/14 with another decrease of £950,000 the following year.

John Galley, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, told the council’s cabinet he believes the budget plan being put forward will give the authority a solid standing.

He said: “The past 12 months have been difficult with changes in tax base rates and welfare which were all altered by the Government.

“Overall though, I feel this budget will mean we’ll be well placed as a council to cope with any budget shortfalls over the next year.”

Andrew Sosin, shadow council representative for finance, said he was disappointed with a couple aspects of the 2013/14 budget, including lower payments in play schemes.

The Lib Dem councillor said: “I’m concerned that the 25 per cent reduction in the play scheme budget may result in disappointment to the youngsters and their families.”

The budget proposal will now go in front of all councillors at a full council meeting on February 13.

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