Fenland District Council announce tax freeze for sixth time in 10 years

Cllr Chris Boden, leader of Fenland District Council, has announced a tax freeze for the sixth time

Cllr Chris Boden, leader of Fenland District Council, has announced a tax freeze for the sixth time in 10 years. Picture: HARRY RUTTER/ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Fenland residents will not face an increase in their council tax contribution after the authority froze its share of the bill for the sixth time in 10 years.

Councillors have voted in favour of keeping its council tax portion the same for 2020/21, with Fenland District Council (FDC) among three per cent of local authorities across the UK not to propose a tax hike for the coming year.

The government has allowed local authorities to raise their council tax by up to two per cent in 2020/21, plus an additional rise for councils providing adult social care.

Had FDC implemented a two per cent rise, this would have cost taxpayers £156,000, as the council continues to meet its ambitious savings target.

Cllr Chris Boden, leader of FDC and portfolio holder for finance, said: "Local authorities are under financial pressure, with significantly less money coming from central government.

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"Given the scale of challenges and uncertainties faced by the Council, the financial forecasts represent a significant achievement."

Households will still see a rise in council tax bills due to precept increases from Cambridgeshire County Council (3.59 per cent), the Cambridgeshire police and crime commissioner (4.49 per cent), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough fire authority (1.91 per cent) and local town and parish councils (4.42% per cent).

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FDC's portion of band D council tax will remain at £260.46 per dwelling, with the overall Band D council tax per dwelling rising from £1,865.97 to £1,924.38 in 2019/20.

However, the average total council tax per dwelling in Fenland in 2019/20 for all band A-H properties was £1,262.74, the lowest across Cambridgeshire.

Cllr Boden added: "Since austerity measures hit in 2010, we have reduced our budget by 33% and made savings of almost £10million, whilst protecting and enhancing frontline services.

"We are in a good position for what lies ahead and can balance our books without increasing the tax burden on our hardworking residents."

The savings have been achieved through ways such as the relocation of the council's March and Wisbech One Stop shops and a shared CCTV service with Peterborough City Council.

Other opportunities to make further savings and generate income include the development of its commercial and investment strategy, developing council-owned land and its 'Council For The Future' transformation plans.

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