1. ITV Report

Who's paying the most council tax in the Anglia region?

The government has revealed the council tax figures for 2014-15 Photo: ITV News Anglia

New government figures show that council tax figures across the country have fallen for the fourth year in a row after inflation is taken into account.

Most councils in the Anglia region have frozen council tax for the year 2014-15 while six are cutting the tax.

The areas where there is a cut in council tax are: Braintree, Brentwood and Uttlesford in Essex along with Northampton, Broadland in Norfolk and South Holland in Lincolnshire.

Fourteen districts and two counties in the Anglia region are raising their council tax with the highest rise being in Cambridge with a 2% increase.

Most council tax bills in the Anglia region are frozen or have fallen. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Communities Secretary and Essex MP Eric Pickles said: "In the last decade, council tax bills went through the roof. This Government has been working to keep council tax down, giving hard-working people greater financial security."

A Local Government Association spokesman said: "Every local authority wants to help people during these tough times by keeping council tax down. The vast majority have frozen council tax for the past three years and many are extending that for a fourth.

"Government's offer to help local authorities is a short-term one which does not address the huge long-term pressures facing local public services."

"We have given extra government funding to town halls to help freeze council tax, which has cut bills by more than 11% in real-terms. This means people have more in their pocket and are no longer facing the threat of soaring bills."

– Eric Pickles MP, Communities Secretary
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says council tax bills have been cut by 11% in real terms. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A typical council tax bill is made up of various elements. Most people live in an area where two councils run their local services - a county council and a district, city or borough council. These two councils each levy a charge which is part of your council tax.

There is also an element to pay for your local police force and sometimes another charge for your firefighters. Countryside areas also add in a parish precept.

The figures also reveal the average council tax per dwelling in each council area in the Anglia region with the lowest being in Norwich at £837 and the highest at £1,589 in Rutland.

The top 25 areas with the lowest council tax per dwelling in the Anglia region

  • £837 in Norwich
  • £840 in Great Yarmouth
  • £868 in Luton
  • £888 in Corby
  • £905 in Peterborough
  • £915 in Waveney, Suffolk
  • £922 in Wellingborough
  • £931 in Southend
  • £953 in Tendring
  • £957 in South Holland, Lincolnshire
  • £965 in Thurrock, Essex
  • £974 in Ipswich
  • £977 in Northampton
  • £1,001 in Kettering
  • £1,006 in Breckland
  • £1,012 in Stevenage
  • £1,015 in Forest Heath, Suffolk
  • £1,029 in King's Lynn & West Norfolk
  • £1,034 in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire
  • £1,041 in Milton Keynes
  • £1,042 in Fenland, Cambridgeshire
  • £1,060 in Harlow
  • £1,083 in North Norfolk
  • £1,107 in East Northamptonshire
  • £1,155 in St Edmundsbury, Suffolk
There's a big difference in the average council tax per dwelling in areas across the Anglia region Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The top 25 areas with the highest council tax per dwelling in the Anglia region

  • £1,589 in Rutland
  • £1,495 in Uttlesford
  • £1,490 in St Albans
  • £1,471 in South Cambridgeshire
  • £1,414 in Brentwood
  • £1,407 in Epping Forest
  • £1,402 in East Hertfordshire
  • £1,391 in Central Bedfordshire
  • £1,379 in Aylesbury Vale
  • £1,330 in South Northamptonshire
  • £1,316 in Rochford, Essex
  • £1,314 in Harborough
  • £1,294 in Maldon
  • £1,283 in Chelmsford
  • £1,273 in Huntingdonshire
  • £1,262 in North Hertfordshire
  • £1,260 in Welwyn Hatfield
  • £1,241 in Mid Suffolk
  • £1,237 in Cambridge
  • £1,233 in East Cambridgeshire
  • £1,210 in Daventry
  • £1,209 in Babergh, Suffolk
  • £1,205 in South Norfolk
  • £1,204 in Bedford
  • £1,202 in Suffolk Coastal
The average Band D council tax in the Anglia region in 2014-15 is £1,505 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive

The reasons for the big differences between different local authority areas will lie in the value of their housing stock. Council tax is divided into eight bands from A to H depending on the value of your property in 1991.

A property in Band A was worth up to £40,000 and pays the lowest council tax. A Band H property was worth £320,001 or more and paid the highest rate of tax.

In the middle is Band D which is often used to compare council tax figures from one council to another.

Once all the elements of a council tax bill are added in, the average Band D council tax bill in the Anglia region is £1,505.

Among the areas with the highest Band D charge are Rutland (£1,705), Central Bedfordshire (£1,660) and Fenland in Cambridgeshire (£1,645).

Those with the lowest Band D rate in the Anglia region are Thurrock (£1,335), Southend (£1,354) and Peterborough (£1,382).

Council tax is divided into eight bands from A to H depending on the value of your property in 1991. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Local Government Association warned: "By next year, central government funding for councils will have been cut by 40% during this parliament.

"Local authorities have made huge efficiency savings, scaled back discretionary services and reduced the annual pay bill by more than £1.4 billion. But with every further cut to local government funding it becomes increasing difficult to protect services."