Town council tax rise will help promote Sidmouth's visitor trade as well as provide public services
PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2020
Sidmouth Town Council's portion of the council tax is to increase slightly to pay for public services and projects to benefit the locality.
The amount of the increase will be £11.68 for the 2020-2021 year for an average property, bringing the town council's share of the tax to £84.04 for a Band D home.
The town council approved the precept on Monday, January 20, and said the funding will enable it to continue providing local services and pay for some new projects that residents have identified as important.
These include extra public toilets on the seafront, due to open by the summer, water fountains along the Esplanade and electric car charging points.
The upgrade of Sidmouth's skatepark is also on the list, and there is 'a commitment' to update, and eventually replace, the Manstone Youth Centre building.
Part of the budget - £50,000 - is earmarked for tourism promotion and marketing.
Councillor Louise Cole, chair of the Tourism and Economy Committee said: "As coastal town, our tourism industry is vital to our economy.
"It is through improving our tourism promotion that we can help new businesses to set up and established ones to grow.
"It is how we can attract new visitors and ensure that residents can enjoy a vibrant place to live.
"With the improvements we are making we are responsibly promoting the town and the surrounding areas, to attract visitors and respond to market changes and the use of digital technologies.
"Our new Visit Sidmouth brand has just been successfully introduced, and we can now implement it effectively through a new and improved town guide and new campaigns using digital approaches, whilst finding out more about our visitor base."
The council has agreed to award more than £16,000 in small grants to organisations across the Sid Valley, including £2,000 to Citizens Advice East Devon, £1,500 to Sid Valley HELP, and £1,500 to Sidmouth Arboretum.
It is continuing to support the Folk Festival, Science Festival, Sea Fest, Literary Festival, the carnival and the walking festival, and is giving funding to Sidmouth in Bloom, the air display and Sidmouth Town Band, as well as the Hopper Bus which runs during the summer.