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Babergh District Council to consider three per cent tax rise for new annual budget to help deal with ongoing funding pressures

Babergh District Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (6437221)
Babergh District Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (6437221)

Proposals for a three per cent council tax rise in Babergh, as part of the next annual district budget, are being discussed by councillors today, as the authority seeks to address ongoing funding pressures.

Babergh District Council’s cabinet is due to meet this morning to consider a draft budget for 2019/20, as well as an assessment of the council’s finances over the next four years.

The budget is based on a proposed increase of 3.15 per cent in the district council’s share of the council tax bill for a Band D property – equivalent to an additional £5 over the year, or 10 pence per week.

In his report, council leader and cabinet member for finance John Ward stated the financial strategy for Babergh was based on responding to the changing funding landscape and the challenges and opportunities it presented.

He explained that while the Government’s provisional financial settlement announced last month did include new money for Babergh, there is still an overall funding gap.

Cllr Ward said: “In order to achieve the vision and ambition for the districts, with significantly reduced government resources, the council needs to take a medium-term view of the budget, through a financial strategy that is focused on meeting the corporate priorities.

“The approach over the medium term is to transform the council into an organisation that is thriving and not just surviving, by reviewing, remodelling and reinventing the way it operates.

“The focus will be on internal efficiencies and improvements within existing structures.”

Cllr Ward’s report asks cabinet members to endorse the budget and four-year forecast for recommendation to the next full council meeting on February 19, subject to further consideration.


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