Town precepts to go up in 2010

SEATON residents will have their precepts increased to pay for youth and community facilities in the town.

SEATON residents will have their precepts increased to pay for youth and community facilities in the town.

The town council voted in favour of raising its part of the council tax by �10 a year, per household, to get a youth centre off the ground.

The move comes despite the town already having the highest precept in East Devon, at �44 per household, and public criticism.

Mayor Sandra Semple said: "I can't see any way of proving these young people with anything soon other than doing it this way."

A questionnaire by the council showed the majority of residents were in favour of a youth club and raising the precept to pay for the facilities.

Of 4,035 forms distributed, 860 were returned, and residents ranked a youth centre, pool and indoor sports centre as priorities. A Tourist Information Centre was fifth on the list.

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Cllr Semple proposed the budget be increased to equate to �10 extra per band D household. It would help bring forward the capital project of a community, youth and sports centre in Seaton.

The money would enable the council to take out a loan of �300,000 from the Public Works Loan Board, which would be paid back yearly over 10 to 14 years.

Cllr Semple said; "The problem is if people want facilities, we have to find some way of funding them."

But residents spoke out against the move during the monthly council meeting on Monday, December 21.

Carol Manley said: "I don't think this is a good way forward. I don't think it's value for money."

Some residents called for the council to look into buying Winston's or using St Claire's adult education centre. Chris Byrne-Jones said Elizabeth Road was not ideal for a youth centre as it is in a residential area.

Cllr Semple said East Devon District Council had offered �80,000, but only for the Elizabeth Road area, and this had to be used within three years. She added that Section 106 funding, for community and social facilities, had proved difficult to obtain.

Councillors agreed with the motion, except Cllr Peter Burrows, who abstained from voting.

EVERY household in Honiton will pay �33.91 to Honiton Town Council in the next financial year - through council tax.

The council has set a precept of �139,993 - a rise of 11p per week per household.

Documents presented to councillors reveal �27,000 is needed for the proposed Beehive community centre complex. The figure takes into account six months' repayments on a loan towards the project.

Christmas decorations in the town centre are set to cost �11,000 - �1,000 more than this year, because of increases in electricity bills.

The council also aims to set aside �5,000 for floral planters.

A further �9,000 has been earmarked for Honiton Tourist Information Centre and the maintenance of Honiton's CCTV system will cost council tax payers �2,500.

Salaries and associated payments have been estimated at �68,000.