Reasons for council tax increase

SIR - We are very grateful to Mr Gray for allowing us to explain how and why the Town Council needed to raise the council tax with a “small increase” as he so eloquently puts it. The actual increase for the average house in the parish is less than a pint of beer a year!

One of the main reasons for the increase was, this year, due to the hard work of fellow councillors’, who we remind Mr Gray are volunteers, were successful in obtaining funds for the establishment of a new play park in West Hill against a very difficult funding background. The children of West Hill had written to us asking for a new play park as there was no existing provision within the village. The park will now require maintenance at �2,500 for the year and part of the increase will go directly towards this.

In addition to the play park, a new Skateboard and BMX park is being constructed at The King’s School and the Town Council is providing �10,000 towards its construction. Again, maintenance and the ongoing upkeep at �2,500 per annum will be required, which is being funded by the “small increase”.

Due to cutbacks at East Devon District Council, the Town Council are now responsible for the flower beds within the parish, something we have not been responsible for before. The “small increase” will help fund the work that is now required to keep the flower beds to the same standard as they were before.

We would also remind Mr Gray that the toilets in the town have not been closed, but refurbished and, with the imminent closure of the toilets in Hind Street, it was felt important that this facility continued.

Coupled with the additional expenditure that we have incurred through the default of a pressure group within the town, the “small increase” in our view is more than justified.

We, too, welcome the forthcoming May elections and look forward to seeing Mr Gray’s name on the ballot slip so he gets the opportunity to see, first hand, the excellent work that the Town Council is doing for ALL the residents of the parish. Signed by the following councillors.

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