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EDDC: Tax frozen but balancing books getting harder

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 January 2014

Archant

A surplus of £70,000 is hoped to help East Devon District Council (EDDC) offset an expected deficit in the coming year as balancing the books becomes harder.

The authority is proposing to freeze council tax for the fourth consecutive year in 2014/15, and in return will be rewarded with a government grant.

Its Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is in a healthy position to be able to meet housing service needs and to service £84.4million debt repayments from a loan for the housing stock taken out with central government.

Councillor David Cox, the cabinet member for finance, said: “We are working hard to maintain our front-line services in the face of ongoing financial challenges. These are by no means peculiar to East Devon – they are happening all over the country. In each local authority area there are different needs and so each council has to find its own way of meeting these needs whilst at the same time coping with reductions in funding.”

EDDC is looking at how it can get the most from fees and charges, such as for parking, while supporting local people and businesses, and at ways of cutting costs. It is looking at leaving Knowle for ‘more suitable accommodation’ and savings are expected to be made.

Members on Tuesday met with the East Devon Business Support Group, which is made up of Association of East Devon Chambers of Trade, the National Farmers’ Union, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Hospitality Business Support Organisation.

The budget will be finalised by full council on February 26.

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