PLANS have been drawn up to freeze council tax in Basildon, plough more cash into keeping lights on at night and to create new facilities for youngsters.

Basildon Council is set to discuss the budget plans at a meeting of the policy and resources committee next Thursday, January 30, before it goes for final approval.

It comes as Essex County Council announced plans to increase its council tax bill by about £50 for the average Band D household.

Residents said they’re delighted with the planned tax freeze in Basildon.

Julie Greenstead, 44, from Basildon, said: “This is more then welcome news.

“I am very pleased about the streetlight cash being proposed.

“It does seem that the council is finally listening to what the residents want.

“It’ll be a help that Basildon Council is not increasing tax as the county council is doing so.

“It’d be good to see something positive come out of this budget for the town centre.

“It needs work and something for young people in the town centre will help very much.”

Brian Smith, 61, of Wickford said: “We struggle with bills as it is so I am glad to see we’ve not got more increases.

“Hopefully the council will now be looking to improve the town and support residents.”

Gavin Callaghan, Labour leader of Basildon, said: “Over the last five years Government action has reduced the council’s spending power by £13m.

“To fund this investment we will increase the amount of money we can raise to support our services in other ways – for example, increasing investments in commercial property, boosting housebuilding by Sempra Homes to increase the supply of social housing as well as building 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 a programme of digital transformation.”

The plans will only be given the green light if they are confirmed at a full council meeting next month.