The Council Tax you pay to Basildon Council is being frozen at last year's levels.

Increases in your overall bill are down to decisions made by Essex County Council, which takes 70% of your money, and the police and fire services, who take a further 15%.

While councils and public services struggle to balance increased demand on their services with cuts to their government funding, asking local taxpayers to stump up more is the easy option. We know about cuts - over the last five years Government action has reduced Basildon Council's spending power by £13m. But, I won't ask hard-pressed local people to pay more to make up the shortfall - that's why we are freezing our part of your bill this year.

Instead, we are increasing income from other sources - for example, investing more in commercial property, funding Sempra Homes to build houses for rent and for sale to reinvest in more homes, encouraging business growth to raise more from business rates and cutting the long-term cost of our services by investing in digital transformation.

Together this allows us to invest in what's really important for this borough and what you have told us is most important to you.

We are paying to keep the street lights on through the night to keep us safer. We are putting more money into building homes. We are making a huge capital investment in young people to provide somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to for all our young people. We are investing in the ongoing regeneration of our town centres and the transformation of Basildon town centre.

And, because we are prevented from achieving all our ambitions until we control education, highways and transport, we will invest in making the case for fully coordinated leadership of these services by a unitary Basildon Council. Then, I will be able to tell you how much more of your council tax is being spent and keep more of you bill under control, without having to refer you to Essex County Council.

Councillor Gavin Callaghan

Leader of Basildon Council

Decorative image showing a portrait photo of Leader of Basildon Council - Councillor Gavin Callaghan - Feb 2020