In the news: Councillors agree proposed council tax freeze and funding for street lights
Basildon Council's portion of council tax should be frozen for the second consecutive year, and street lights should continue to stay lit through the night across the borough.
These are some of the measures contained in the proposed budget for 2021/22, agreed by councillors at Basildon Council's Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday 28 January.
The proposed budget will now go to a meeting of Full Council on Thursday 25 February for final approval.
Alongside investment in priority areas, including response to the coronavirus pandemic and regeneration of the borough's town centres, the proposed budget also includes continued funding for street lights across the borough to stay lit throughout the night.
Councillor Gavin Callaghan, Leader of Basildon Council and Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: "It's not fair or right to ask residents of the borough to make up for the shortfalls in our lost income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These last 12 months have been challenging enough for families without that added pressure.
"Instead, we are working to commercialise more of our services and reduce spending in areas of the council where we can work more efficiently. And we will continue to push central government to provide us with appropriate financial support, so that we can carry on delivering the projects and services that are so important to our residents during this tough time.
"As part of our ambitious plans for supporting and rejuvenating the borough, we have been able to propose further funding to keep street lights across the borough lit throughout the night for another year. I know this is an issue that matters a great deal to borough residents and it's important we do everything we can to help communities feel safer.
"As a council we've been working extremely hard throughout the pandemic to make sure that once we're out the other side, we can build a new Basildon that invests in the futures of our young people, a new generation of homeowners, thriving 21st century town centres and one that doesn't leave anyone behind. There is lots to look forward to and we will bounce back."
Published on Friday 29 January 2021