West Devon Borough Council raises its Council Tax to maintain frontline services

In News by Town Council

Delivering Services in the Borough

West Devon Borough Council has set its budget for the next financial year. The budget details how the Council will continue delivering vital services to its rural communities for the next 12 months.

Currently councils receive their funding from three main sources, Central Government Grants, Council Tax and Business Rates. Each year the Council receives a Finance Settlement from Central Government which details what funding they will receive in the next 12 months.

Just before Christmas, it was announced that West Devon Borough Council’s funding from Government Grant and Business Rates would be reducing by a further 37% between now and 2019/20 (the third highest cut in the country). The Council is once again facing a budget gap over the next two years of £1 million.

At a meeting of the Full Council, West Devon Borough Council Members took the difficult decision to once again increase the amount of Council Tax it charges for its services. The Council voted 26 for and 1 against increasing the amount by 2.3%.  On a Band D property, this is an increase of £5 per year to £218.39.

Cllr Philip Sanders, Leader of West Devon Borough Council explained: “Continuing to fund essential frontline services is a national problem. Councils like ours up and down the country are having to grapple with big decisions and increasing Council Tax is just one of the avenues open to us to ease the problem.

“We also know that our main Government grant will disappear completely by 2018, and we are considering a whole raft of measures including becoming more commercially aware and making better use of our assets, in order to continue delivering the services that our residents need.”

Of the Council Tax that the Borough Council collects, only 12% (£218.39 on a Band D property) goes towards paying for services that West Devon deliver, the rest goes directly to the County Council, the Emergency Services and Towns and Parishes.