CHELMSFORD Council is set to defy the Government by rejecting a council tax freeze.

Many tax payers in Essex will see their council tax frozen again in 2012 but Chelmsford’s councillors will meet next Tuesday, January 24 to discuss a proposal to increase council tax for the next financial year.

The rise would see an average band D household in the borough paying an extra £4.01 per year.

The “very small annual amount” aims to make sure the council continues to cover the costs of its services and could bring in an extra £250,000 for the authority.

For 2011/12, councils were given a grant worth around 2.5 per cent of their budgets in return for freezing the tax. That extra cash was on offer for five years.

This year, councils have again been offered 2.5 per cent of their budget for agreeing to a freeze, but that grant will only last for one year.

Councillor Roy Whitehead, leader of Chelmsford Council, has said that would mean having to put up council tax by twice as much in future to make up for the short fall so the council is addressing it now.

“It’s not sensible to go down that route,” he said.

“Given the sum is so small, we did not believe it was the wrong thing to do. We’ve taken the view that making this increase is better than doing anything else and making cuts.”