Diss Town Council were faced with another challenging budgetary decision this year. Our income from council tax has gone down by £63,000 over the last five years because of Government changes to the Council Tax benefit system.
Until last year we had tried to absorb that loss, but it became essential to phase in an above inflation increase over two years from April 2017 to plug this funding gap to continue to maintain our services. The 13.6% increase from April 2018 works out on average at £22.35 for the year or £2.24 per month paid over 10 months. These figures are based on a Band D Council Tax household, which is the national criteria used for calculating Council Tax.
The recently completed £3.3M Heritage Triangle Project included a loan of £330,000 as the Town Council’s contribution to the project. This was a loan of a smaller amount than the £400,000 it was estimated it would have cost to make the Corn Hall watertight and deal with known structural issues, which would only have kept the building in its previous unregenerated form.
The regeneration and restoration of the Corn Hall could only be achieved through investment from other sources. The Heritage Lottery Fund was the only source that would provide the required level of funding but the Corn Hall on its own was not of sufficient heritage interest to them. The HLF would only consider projects that delivered real heritage benefits. The Corn Hall, the surrounding area and the boardwalk, which became known as the Heritage Triangle, was considered worthy of investment. Hence the Town Council’s £330K loan has achieved a further nearly £3M investment in Diss.
Full details of our budget can be found here