Seaton pegs its precept to ease the pain

Increasing the town’s council tax spending would have been “unreasonable” in these hard times, says mayor

HARD-pressed Seaton residents will not be asked to fork out more for their local services in the coming year.

The town council has voted to peg its precept – its share of the council tax – at the current level of �197,000.

Mayor Peter Burrows said they had decided it would be “unreasonable” to make residents pay more when the financial climate meant “every penny counts”.

But he said a range of measures – including reducing administration costs - were being taken to ensure money is still available to help the town move forward

Cash reserves will be used to invest within Seaton to encourage visitors and residents to use the town more.

Meanwhile the grants budget has been increased so that the council can continue to support local groups, and possibly provide extra sessions for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

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The council has also identified funds for a number of major projects including pedestrianisation of the Esplanade, a new “master plan” for the seafront, with a similar contribution from East Devon District Council, and a big contribution towards the cost of a jetty to allow coastal cruises to bring visitors to the town where they can stop and spend.

And the town council has agreed to accept the maintenance costs of the Jubilee Garden water feature if EDDC allow this to be restored.

In addition �11,000 has been set aside to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee this summer, with events including a beacon and fireworks. And there will be an increase in the Seaton in Bloom budget to help the town look its best during the holiday season.

The council will be supporting businesses in Seaton by setting aside �30,000 towards town development work and says it is looking forward to working with EDDC and the Chamber of Commerce to increase footfall within the shopping centre in various ways.

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