Councils propose tax freeze for residents

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Braintree District Council has proposed to freeze council tax for the coming year.

The proposal, which has been announced as part of the council’s 2015/16 budget, comes after two years of council tax reductions. The proposals are still pending approval by full council.

Council leader Graham Butland said the authority had been successful in making early savings to preserve key frontline services, as well as freezing council tax levels.

“Last year, we set out our plans to make £1.52million in savings in a bid to deliver a balanced budget over a four-year period,” he said.

“Now, as then, we are able to meet this challenge head-on and deliver good results and value for money to taxpayers.”

The district council plans to invest £125,000 in car parks, as well as supporting town and parish councils with the localism fund.

Mr Butland said the council was ambitious in its vision for the district.

He added: “We are investing in and improving frontline services for residents, building community resilience, and supporting infrastructure to enable the kind of growth levels that would see us become one of the fastest growing districts in the eastern region.”

Similarly, Essex County Council has also backed plans to freeze its share of the council tax.

Its budget proposal outlines plans to invest £272million in the county’s roads, creating new school places and helping the vulnerable.

Council leader David Finch said: “Despite the continued financial challenges we are facing, this budget is one that supports and invests in communities across Essex.”