Exmouth Town Hall defend tax hike

THE ruling Conservative group have insisted they had no choice but to raise the town hall s share of the council tax to avoid the grim sight of empty flower beds and unkempt parks.

THE ruling Conservative group have insisted they had no choice but to raise the town hall's share of the council tax to avoid the 'grim sight' of empty flower beds and unkempt parks.

The town's finance chiefs will raise an extra �83,000 for the town when was agreed tax payers will have to pay 26 per cent in their precept.

This will be an extra 11p a week for a band D property - the council voted right down party lines, with the Tories, backing the increase with the Lib Dem's voting against.

Conservative Councillor Lynne Elson, the Leader of Exmouth Town Council, said the increase was the 'right decision for Exmouth.'


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She said that the 'massive drop' in district and council income had meant that 'non-core' functions such as parks and gardens were under threat.

"We knew there was potential for a cut in some of the services that are most important to Exmouth," she said.

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"We had two options - we could sit on our hands and play the victim or take the decision to slightly increase the precept to keep our town competitive and support businesses and residents alike.

"We have now seen where the cuts are going to fall, and our course of action has been proven correct.

"The action taken by the Conservative group means that the grim sight of empty flower beds and unkempt parks and gardens will no longer become a reality."

She said this would have had a 'terrible effect' on tourism and local business and she added: "I hope the Liberal Democrat councillors that voted against this proposal will realise the potential damage their stance could have caused to Exmouth and its reputation this summer."

They will consult with the Tidy Group, Exmouth in Bloom and the Chamber of Trade to help make decisions where the �83,000 should be spent.

"If we think creatively, the additional precept may enable us to improve quality of life aspects of the town including cleaning, lighting and standard of bus stops.

"Money being carefully invested purely in Exmouth has the potential to upgrade our town for the better.

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