£2.47 rate rise for Sidmouth
SIDMOUTH residents will have to find an extra £2.47 a week in council tax for 2008/9.
SIDMOUTH residents will have to find an extra £2.47 a week in council tax for 2008/9.This figure, on a Band D property, includes East Devon District Council's levy - adopted on Wednesday - and Devon County Council, police and fire authority taxes.Proposing a £118.24 a year levy - up 4.49 percent, £5.08, from last year's £113.16 - EDDC leader Councillor Sara Randall Johnson said there would be no cuts and it was one of the lowest council tax rates in the country.A 1.1 per cent increase this year gives EDDC £7.8 million, an increase of £151,000, and, she said: "It barely covers additional costs we have as a result of inflation and having to meet basic commitments."It is a budget developed through you, the customers, by rigorous reviews looking at services plans. "There are no cuts. We have listened to our local residents and included service increases based on their requests," she said."This is the first budget of the new council and it sets the platform for the work we will carry out over the next three years."Of the two towns up for regeneration, she said Exmouth would benefit from £100,000 "to improve its place as a thriving, economic centre".She called on Exmouth's Liberal Democrat county councillors to "take the lead" in getting Devon County Council to buy Rolle College to improve educational facilities there.Seaton will have, as a gateway town, another £100,000, with £10,000 for the wetlands.EDDC is committed to improving customer service and over £100,000 was allocated to making it more accessible and improve its standards of delivering services - including planning and housing benefits.Miss Randall Johnson said: "Running EDDC is an expensive business and it costs more every year. "We work hard to ensure that we give our residents the best possible value for money, so we make good use of Government funding and we charge commercial prices for our services."Top priority remains affordable homes and EDDC will continue to insist developers provide 40 per cent of affordable homes within developments over 15 units in towns or five in rural villages. This year 65 affordable homes were built in the district.The council's 4.49 per cent increase will also support the national free bus travel scheme from April 1 and planned improvements to the waste and recycling collection service, starting this summer.Seconding the budget, which was unanimously approved, Councillor Andrew Moulding, portfolio holder economy, thanked officers for producing a balanced budget, saying: "We are delivering improved services and maintaining our balances whilst looking after council taxpayers."Each band of council tax is listed below: Band A - £78.83 Band B - £91.96 Band C - £105.10 Band D - £118.24 Band E - £144.52 Band F - £170.79 Band G - £197.07 Band H - £236.48