Council tax increase for Axminster residents

PUBLISHED: 07:03 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:22 17 January 2019

Axminster Mayor Jeremy Walden. Picture: Chris Carson

Axminster Mayor Jeremy Walden. Picture: Chris Carson

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Average Band D households will pay an extra £11 a year for town council services

Axminster Town Council is asking residents to pay, on average, an extra £11 a year to fund local services.

It has increased its precept – its share of the council tax bill – by around 12.5 per cent, up from £214,557 last year to £244,558.

It means a typical Band D property will pay £88.81 in the next financial year year, starting in April. This will be added to the council tax demands from the district and county councils to fund their services, like police and rubbish collections.

The town council increase is partly due to the fact that it no longer receives any council tax support grant from the Government - which last year was nearly £3,000 – and its plan to employ a lengthsman.

Mayor Jeremy Walden said: “Over the past nine years county and district authorities have seen their central government funding fall by 58 per cent. The result is that such authorities are only able now to do what they are required to do by law and in some cases are not even able to do that. This has meant that the burden for many services has had to be taken up by parish and town councils in order to maintain and improve the lives of citizens.

“Axminster Town Council has, over the past few years, taken on more responsibilities. We now provide the majority of floral decorations in the town and these have been well received, and we are able to provide good value thanks to our small band of volunteers to plant them out and care for them. We also provide financial support to the youth club, the job club and The Project which provides mentoring for young people with mental health issues. In addition our flood resilience team, snow wardens and pothole crew – all volunteers – are funded by the town council for equipment and supplies.

“We believe that making the town look good is essential for civic pride, the well being of our citizens and to encourage new businesses, particularly retail.

“The vast majority of the increase in our precept is pursuant to our decision to employ a lengthsman so we can keep our town centre verges clear throughout.”

“We are also, in the current year and in future years, making some major improvements to The Guildhall to ensure it remains one of East Devon’s premier venues and a proper amenity for the town. This will include new carpeting, stage curtains, internal sliding doors and repairs to the backstage ceiling. This will be funded by our reserves.”

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