THURROCK Council’s Cabinet has recommended an increase in Council Tax with all additional funding being used for social care, environmental improvements and tackling anti-social behaviour.
Budget proposals approved by Cabinet today are for an increase of 1.49 per cent in general council tax and a 2 per cent increase in the social care precept having applied no council tax increase the previous financial year.
Cllr Shane Hebb, portfolio holder for finance, said: “Thanks to our innovative service reform, commercial and investment strategies Thurrock has been able to do something 97 per cent of other councils cannot and that is propose a below inflation Council Tax increase while continuing to invest in the services which are most important to our residents.
“Every single penny of the extra money raised will be spent on tackling anti-social behaviour, further improving social services and continuing with our environmental objective of improving the look and feel of our borough; making this a borough which is one all of us can be proud to live, work and grow in.
“Thurrock Council is in an enviable financial position. We have the lowest Council Tax in Essex and one of the best financial positions of any unitary authority in the country.
“Our investment strategy has brought in over £31m last year and we will receive £33m this year, money which we will use for the benefit of local residents while allowing us to improve services, keep council tax increases to a minimum and maintain a surplus of over £11m.
“We have a balanced budget until 2023 and far from cutting services we are investing in continued improvement including £1m towards new police officers, £670,000 to tackle anti-social behaviour, £500,000 for mental health support in local schools and £1.2m for environmental improvements.”
The budget will be set at Full Council on 26 February 2020.