HALSTEAD Town Council is set to increase the amount it charges in council tax for the year ahead.

At its last meeting, the council agreed the amount it will charge for the services it provides.

The town council's share makes up just a fraction of the overall council tax bill, which also includes charges by the district and county councils, and police and fire services.

In 2023, the annual levy per household charged by Halstead Town Council was £49.86, and in 2024 this will rise to £51.70 - an increase of £1.84 for the year.

This portion of the council tax allows the town council to provide services for the community.

This includes the grounds maintenance at Courtaulds Sports Ground, of footpaths around the town, and of the two churchyards, including grass cutting and tree management.

It also allows the council to provide the Queen's Hall for hire, cheaper car parking and reasonable rates for permit holders.

The fund also provides 200 allotments for rent at low rents for the community to grow its flowers, fruits and vegetables.

The council has also secured separate funding from the Home Office for a street warden and CCTV, and from Braintree Council for refurbishment of the high street and a new skatepark and play area.

A spokesman said although those are not directly funded by the town's council tax, the money has been secured by the town council for some of the more important issues for Halstead residents.

A spokesman said: “The council also provides for the community a range of free events such as bands in the public gardens, the Christmas lights switch-on and the torchlight procession, and summer fun for local children.

“Any surplus is put aside to enable the council to fund large projects such as replacement of the Empire Theatre roof and making safe the wall at Trinity churchyard, and in future to address the effects of climate change.

“These are made possible through this small portion of public money annually per household.

“The council has restricted this to the lowest possible increase, being aware of the rise in the cost of living.”