Borough council supports communities and balances budget

We have set a balanced budget for 2024/2025, despite difficult economic circumstances with rising costs and past years’ reductions in Government funding.

Today, Tuesday 20 February, our Full Council heard that efficiency drives and years of effective financial management has meant that we are in a healthy financial position.

A loss of £3 million per year in core Government grant (Revenue Support Grant) means that we have to now be independent when funding all of its services.

To help fund these services, councillors agreed to a small increase in Council Tax of £7.59 per year, (2.99%) meaning residents living in a Band D property would pay £261.59 for our share of the Council Tax bill for all of its services.

We have has also approved changes to its existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which already supports over 3,200 households and the Council has awarded £3.9m to reduce residents’ bills through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This scheme helps those residents most in need pay their council tax as the cost of living crisis continues.

The first change to the scheme means more support for self-employed residents who are trying to grow their own business. The second aims to help ease the financial pressures for residents with a disability or health condition which affects how much they can work. The changes approved today will see over 455 residents or families get much needed extra financial support.

Cllr Mandy Ewings, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: “We know that any Council Tax increase is difficult especially when finances are tight for residents. I can assure you that we don’t take any rise lightly, the rise is under 15p per week and is £7.59 for the year. Without this small increase to help the Borough Council deliver key services, we will find it harder to continue to deliver essential services and to help those who are in the greatest need.

“Please remember when your Council Tax bill lands on your mat, that we only keep a very small portion of it (11%). Although we collect the money for the Fire and the Police authorities, most of the council tax bill is distributed to Devon County Council to pay for their services of adult social care, children’s services and the road network provision. The Council Tax also helps to fund your local Town Council and Parish Councils, so they can continue to deliver their valuable services.

“The Borough Council’s work often goes unseen but I urge you to take the time to look at the good work we do for your communities making a difference to our residents’ and businesses’ lives. You can find out what we do by following us on social media, looking at our website newsroom or signing up for newsletter updates.”

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