East Devon residents set to pay more council tax next financial year
- Credit: Christopher Bill.
Residents in East Devon are likely to see their council tax bills rise once again in the next financial year.
The council plans to increase the tax by £5 when it finalises its budget for the 2022/2023 financial year in April.
The 3.3 per cent rise is the maximum yearly rise allowed by the government. It would take the annual payment for a band D property to £156.76. This is separate from the money people pay to Devon County Council, which provides other essential services.
The move has been approved by EDDC Cabinet and will go to a full vote before April. The rise comes as the council makes tough choices in order to balance its budget.
Councillor Jack Rowland (Independent East Devon Alliance, Democratic Alliance Group, Seaton), portfolio holder for finance, said: “This administration is having to grasp some really difficult nettles lately due to a number of factors: one, the reducing level of government support for local authorities, the fact that we’re limited – without going for a referendum – how much we can increase the council tax precept by…and also the fact that a number of things are coming home to roost in terms of lack of maintenance on our assets over a number of years.”
The council will have a better idea of the final shape of its budget in the coming weeks. An additional £400,000 to £600,000 will be paid to keep up with increased demands for recycling collection and additional household collections from new properties in the area.
It is also expected that there will be an increase in payments to LED leisure, a company that runs the council’s leisure facilities. The council currently spends around £900,000 on leisure services but LED has suggested that the quality of service might drop if the council does not increase spending. It is believed an additional £50,000 to £100,000 may be spent.
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EDDC is also carrying out a review of pay for council employees, expected to conclude in February. Some wages are thought to be behind median pay levels. Rectifying this could cost the council around £300,000 to £500,000.