‘We’ll pay more to keep it free’

PUBLISHED: 17:25 03 December 2012

Parking cartoon

Parking cartoon

Archant

Budleigh’s Upper Station Road car park could remain free for public use – if district bosses lower their demands and accept a 1,200 per cent increase in the rent paid.

The town council is willing to dig deep into its pockets and increase the rent paid to East Devon District Council (EDDC) from £500 a year to £6,500, which would be linked with inflation.

Mayor Courtney Richards said although the increase was less than the £35,000 demanded by EDDC, it was ‘fair’.

It would mean that the town council’s share of council tax would not increase next year; there has been no increase in the ‘precept’ for three years.

The 109-space car park was gifted to Budleigh by Lord Clinton in 1947 before being transferred to EDDC in the early 1970s.

So far, legal safeguards or covenants have insured it remains free-to-use, and free from ‘commercial’ activity.

But financial pressures have led EDDC to call for the town council to pay a ‘commercial rent’.

The town council currently spends £1,500 on annual maintenance and £3,500 in rates on top of the £500 rent.

This week they made an offer to EDDC, backed by town councillors, and pointed out that the town council was a ‘net contributor’ to the district.

Councillor Richards said at the town council meeting on Monday: “Neither of us, the town council or East Devon, wants get involved in litigation.

“If we increase rent from £500 to £6,500, they would still get an income of £10,000 which would be linked to CPI (inflation).

“I would like to think that they would take that and be happy; it would show that we are serious and it still amounts to £2.50 paid a year by every man, woman and child in Budleigh.”

In its offer to EDDC, the council said that the town ‘helped itself’ and this year had spent £7,000 on toilets, £10,000 on the seafront shelter, £6,000 on railings and £1,600 on wreath holders.

He told the Journal: “Next year we are shelling out £15,000 for a handyman for work that, by rights, East Devon or Devon county should be paying for.

“We are a net contributor and probably save them £30,000 a year.

“We have a sufficient surplus to cover this without having to increase the precept.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Cash and a chain of office have been stolen during a double burglary in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
06:30

An Exmouth firefighter injured in the blaze that ripped through Woodbury Common has told of the ‘hair-raising’ moment he and his colleagues were trapped by the flames without water to fight them.

Read more
56 minutes ago

The Countess of Wessex will be in attendance at this year’s Devon County Show.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:04

On this week in 1944: Extracts from the Exmouth Journal, printed April 22, 1944.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:33

The measures to restrict vehicular access to Cranbrook Railway Station are to remain for the immediate future.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:57

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has asked people to avoid a ‘dangerous area’ of Exmouth beach after a sinkhole appeared.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:19

The new principal of Exmouth Community College has been named.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:54

Firefighters were called to a property in Budleigh Salterton due to reports of a smell of burning coming from a gas boiler.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

An elderly couple from Exmouth handed over a ‘large sum of money’ to two men claiming they could fix guttering at the property.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Proposals to demolish a property and replace it with ten flats have been opposed by Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications