Average household to pay £5 extra a year for a wide range of services
Teignbridge Councillors today (Monday 24 February) approved a budget for the coming financial year that sees moderate increases in Council Tax and in some charges to help balance the books in the face of reduced Westminster support, whilst delivering vital improvement projects in the district.
The council’s targets include boosting employment opportunities and providing decent homes through continuing support for housing, whilst backing business and encouraging community-led planning.
The new budget running for 12 months from 1 April also contains an infrastructure delivery plan that will see investment in improving education, transport links, sports and open spaces.
The main headlines from the meeting of Teignbridge’s Full Council are:
Council Tax for an average Band D home in the district will rise by 2.94% or £5 to £175.17 a year.
Some fees and charges will go up, including an increase in parking income of £185,000.
A Revenue Budget of £16.1 million to pay running costs for a wide range of services from Housing to planning and from Recycling and Environmental Health to Leisure.
Immediate and ongoing steps to avoid a significant budget deficit within the next three years.
Imaginative use of alternative Government funding streams and financial support from other sources.
Staffing and management restructure and other efficiency measures to create budget savings in future years.
Recruitment of a Climate Change Officer and extra Planning Enforcement Officer.
Delivering capital projects that will increase net income.
Three major town centre investments to be funded mainly from prudential borrowing, with a provision for potential Government-backed Future High Street Fund projects.
Councillors agreed a modest increase of £5 a year in Council Tax for a typical Band D home in Teignbridge. This is the proportion of the overall Council Tax ‘cake’ that can be spent by TDC, which claims just under 9p from every £1 that it collects. The remaining funds are divided among Devon County Council, the Emergency Services and parish councils.
Decisions taken on Monday follow a public consultation exercise in January, since when initial proposals have been fine-tuned to ensure that TDC can forge ahead with ambitious improvement plans and a Green agenda without imposing unfairly on Council Taxpayers.
The ruling Liberal Democrats agreed to keep the Rural Aid Grant budget, which will be reduced from £40,000 to £26,000 for the coming year.
Following Monday’s debate on the proposals, the Council resolved to retain a proposed £1 flat fee for Sunday parking and a £500 cut in the Community Fund Grant that councillors can spend in their parishes.
Speaking in favour of the Budget, Cllr Alan Connett, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services, said: “We want this council to have the resources to meet the expectations of our customers. We aim to make our communities vibrant places that people want to come to.
“We aim to have £120,000 in our revenue budget over four years to tackle Climate Change and help deliver our ambitious target of making Teignbridge carbon neutral by 2025. But there’s a lot more funding we can call on that we can attribute to Climate Change action”.
Teignbridge leader Cllr Gordon Hook summed up his support for the proposed budget saying: “We are determined to invest. We are determined to improve. To do so, we have to become more entrepreneurial. This is a responsible, caring, pragmatic and sensible budget”.
The Budget was approved by 28 votes to 17, with two council members unable to attend the meeting.
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