Town council budget up one per cent

13:00 27 January 2014

Archant

Sidmouth Town Council’s budget is set to cost householders ‘less than a penny a week’ more as its precept increases by less than one per cent.

Members have set aside cash for projects such as seagull management, refurbishing war memorials and creating a waterborne transport system.

The council’s total budget is estimated at £403,810, up from £400,000 last year – equivalent to a 41 pence increase for a council tax band D property, or less than a penny a week.

It has cut its payment into the Manor Pavilion maintenance reserve from £20,000 to £5,000, which will take the fund to the target of £50,000. The theatre is owned by East Devon District Council (EDDC), and it uses revenue to keep the venue operational.

The town’s entry signs are getting an £890 revamp as they are modified to include ‘important anniversaries’ and achievements such as the 60th iteration of FolkWeek and the Britain in Bloom awards.

Town clerk Christopher Holland said the aluminium signs had barely deteriorated since they were installed, and the cost will cover adding additional information.

Members have allocated £3,000 to refurbish the valley’s war memorials, which had previously been no single authority’s responsibility.

The town council is taking charge and making monies available for cleaning and repairs so they are ‘spick and span’ for the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, while commemoration events are set to be paid for from the council’s special reserve.

And following last summer’s seagull summit, the councillors have budgeted £4,550 to bring in a hawk handler, but the cost could drop with the support from other towns.

Other expenses include:

l A £15,000 ‘one-off’ cost to create a reserve for the future maintenance of Stowford Community Centre, as the councillors are trustees.

l £5,000 for elections and £1,300 to upgrade the notice boards, including the prominent Three Cornered Plot.

l A further £25,000 for the Jurassic Coast waterborne transport project to reflect the probable benefits it would bring to Sidmouth.

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