Town hall tax frozen

PUBLISHED: 10:57 18 November 2010

EXMOUTH Town Hall is set to leave the county and district councils behind – and become the only authority to freeze its share of the council tax from March.

EXMOUTH Town Hall is set to leave the county and district councils behind – and become the only authority to freeze its share of the council tax from March.

Despite this, the town hall will invest in bus stops, seafront lighting and anti-dog fouling enforcers.

Mayor Darryl Nicholas said that, despite ‘a lack of clarity’ from East Devon District Council about the full extent of the cuts on the district, they were committed to freeze their share of the precept at this year’s levels to alleviate the burden on struggling householders.

He added that, despite the UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate rising unexpectedly to 3.2 per cent in October, they would not pass this on to tax payers, effectively resulting in a drop of income for the town hall.

However, with just two per cent of the total council tax bill going to the town hall – three quarters of council tax goes to the county council, eight per cent to the fire authority, 10 per cent to the police authority and eight per cent to the district council – bills are still set to rise.

Councillor Nicholas said the finance committee had been ‘focused’ on ensuring no increase in their share and would remain ‘significantly lower’ than many other towns and villages in East Devon..

He said: “Last year, in the face of cuts to seafront lighting, the clock tower and maintenance of flowerbeds, we held an open town meeting to gauge the views of local residents.

“The message came across that these assets needed to be protected - our budget reflected these aspirations.

“This year, with no increase, we will continue to support local groups and organisations through the Project Fund and Service Level Agreements.

“Our commitment to Town Management and the Exmouth Festival are also to remain.

“We are also looking towards potential improvements, including possible upgrading of bus shelters, the completion of the new LED lighting along the seafront, enhanced litter and dog fouling enforcement, working with the Community Panel to create a community plan and providing funding and support for the creation of a Business Improvement District.”

He added that, by investing resources and being creative, they could ensure that Exmouth continued to maintain the momentum that The Strand project and Masterplan process had created.

He added: “There is an awful lot to be positive about.”

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