By Local Democracy Reporter
FAMILIES in Thurrock could find themselves having to find more money to pay their council tax bill after April after a rise of 3.49 per cent was announced.
The council tax increase was announced during the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday night, with 1.49 per cent set to be used on tackling anti-social behaviour and social services and 2 per cent being ring-fenced for adult social care.
It is expected to generate an extra £3.1million for the council and it the first increase in two years.
Conservative Councillor Shane Hebb said called it a “modest” increase.
He said: “Due to our financial handling of the economy in Thurrock, we can confirm we are proposing a modest general council tax increase of 1.49 per cent, something nearly all councils won’t be able to do while we continue to provide weekly bin collections, cleaner parks and deal with the growing number of potholes.
“This increase will be a ring-fenced increase which is aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour, environmental improvements and social services improvements.
“Lastly, we will deliver on our long standing Conservative campaign promise that we will be using funding secured for the local economy for extra police officers who will be based on the streets of Thurrock over the next four years policing our towns and communities.”
Last year Thurrock was one of the only councils in the country to freeze council tax and while it was good news for residents, concerns were raised by a financial officer who called for a rethink due to it impacting on the council’s ability to become financially self-sufficient.
Council tax could rise by a larger percentage if Essex Police also opts to increase their slice of the money, however details of this are yet to be confirmed.
After confirmation by the council’s cabinet, the changes will now be discussed by a series of scrutiny committees before being voted on by the full council.