PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:00 10 June 2010
EXMOUTH'S portion of the council tax is set to rise by less than half the rate of inflation. Exmouth Town Council has approved a precept increase of just one pence a week for the financial year 2009/2010. The figure of 2.4 per cent is less than half the r
EXMOUTH'S portion of the council tax is set to rise by less than half the rate of inflation.Exmouth Town Council has approved a precept increase of just one pence a week for the financial year 2009/2010. The figure of 2.4 per cent is less than half the rate of the Consumer Price Index (5.2 per cent) - the key inflation indicator used by the government. The precept is set to rise by 57 pence per household to cover increasing council costs and to support Exmouth's regeneration of The Strand.Conservative councillors voted for the increase at this week's finance committee - the decision only narrowly being approved by one vote.The draft budget, including the precept, will be considered again at the next finance meeting in December, before going to the full council in January for a final decision.Chairman of the finance committee Councillor Sandy Sutton said: "This shows that we can invest in our local community whilst cutting unnecessary cost where we have been able."We need to play an active role in taking Exmouth forward and to withdraw funding now from the key projects of the present and the future would be both very short sighted and a backward step for Exmouth." The council will be supporting The Strand regeneration scheme with a £20,000 grant which will help towards the estimated £200,000 cost in creating a continental-style pedestrianised piazza.The Liberal Democrat councillors were not happy at the proposal to increase council tax.Town councillor Trevor Cope said the elected council had "increased council tax by 15 per cent since the last election"."The town council has decided to take money out of people's pockets - their pick-pocketing is not acceptable, they could quite easily find the money from the carry forward from last year's money."Nearly half the councillors at the meeting believed the £30,000 pot of money for the Neighbourhood Projects Fund, which gives grants to local organisations, was not needed.Town councillor Eileen Wragg said: "I see people that are working hard and we are squandering money at a time when we should be saving - this is appalling."The increased figure put forward of 2.4 per cent per person in Band D is less than half the rate of the Consumer Price Index, the key inflation indicator used by the government.Conservative leader of the Town Council Lynne Elson said the council was sensitive to the economic downturn. "This is an excellent budget for the progression of Exmouth, whilst keeping money where it should be - in people's wallets."Most of the total council tax goes to Devon County Council, with just over two per cent going to Exmouth Town Council.Last year a Band D property in Exmouth had a bill of £1414.95.