EDDC freezes council tax

Despite savings East Devon District Council plan to continue with improvements to the district to make sure people have homes, jobs and a good environment to live in.

East Devon District Council is freezing its share of the council tax for a third year.

The freeze means Band D properties will be paying �121.78 a year, which means the council continues to have the lowest council tax in Devon.

Despite these savings, the council is still pushing ahead with improvements in the district to help ensure people have homes, jobs and a good environment to live in.

District council leader Councillor Paul Diviani said: “This is only the second time this century that we have received a reduction in our formula grant settlement. If we are lucky enough to keep our Business Rates, it may be the last.

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“The coalition government announced their intention to reduce the size of the state and we knew that meant us.

“The Department of Communities and Local Government decided that local authorities would have a 26 per cent reduction in grants over a four-year period, front loaded in years one and two.

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“In practical terms we were faced with taking 15 per cent out of last year’s budget and still significant cuts for the next three years.”

The district council like Devon County Council has also frozen members’ allowances.

Councillor Diviani added: “We have assets valued at just short of �100 million across the district and we must make them work harder on behalf of council tax payers so we can continue to deliver key frontline services and maintain a downward pressure on taxation.

“The council’s Capital Budget, totalling �6,646 million, will need additional funds in future years.”

The council hopes its proposed relocation from the Knowle in Sidmouth to Honiton will help cut costs in the future.

Councillor Diviani said the council budget will allow the continued expansion of recycling, which has seen collection levels rise above 50 per cent and landfill waste dropping.

He added: “This budget is our defence against a ferocious economic downturn. We recognise the public sector needs to work more closely together for the benefit of all by reducing running costs, sharing services and systems, where a dedicated local team can best deliver.

“When we all work together irrespective of political parties we can all do the job we’re elected to do and give the people of East Devon the best possible service at the lowest possible price. This is what we’ve done each year, every year and we fully intend to continue so to do.”

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