Council tax frozen for fourth year


- Credit: Archant

East Devon residents will pay lowest bills in county.

East Devon residents will be paying the lowest council tax in the county in 2013-2014 – after the district council froze its portion of the bill for the fourth year running.

On Wednesday night EDDC councillors agreed that council tax should remain at just £121.78 per year for the average Band D property.

This means the average household will pay around £2.34 per week for the services provided by the district council.

These include waste and recycling collections; cleaning the streets; providing parks, leisure centres, play areas and nature reserves; administering benefits and delivering new jobs and homes to boost the local economy.

The council also provides council housing paid for by the rents of its tenants.

EDDC receives just eight per cent of people’s council tax, with the biggest share (74 per cent) going to Devon County Council, which has also agreed a freeze.

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Of the remainder, 11 per cent goes to the police, five per cent to the fire service, and two per cent to local town and parish councils. Each of these authorities set their own billing amounts, known as precepts.

East Devon collects the money on everyone’s behalf, so is often mistakenly thought to receive the full amount shown on residents’ bills.

During the budget-setting meeting council leader Paul Diviani also announced an intention to freeze councillors’ allowances in 2013-2014, which would mark the fourth year of no increase in the basic level of allowances.

Councillor Diviani said of the council tax freeze: “We’re very proud to run the lowest cost district in Devon, and we have a good track record of managing our finances and our business well.

“With that said, these are tough times and shielding the taxpayer from tax increases will inevitably mean we have to make a few difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions about local services and assets.

“We’re putting the most important front-line services first, protecting the things people tell us are most important to them. That leaves plenty of challenges, but we will face these in a brave, business-minded fashion.”