£5 rise in Council Tax planned in Teignbridge – and car parking and green waste charges could rise as well

Council tax in Teignbridge is set to rise by more than three per cent next year, while charges for leisure centres, car parking and green waste subscriptions could rise as well.

Teignbridge District Council has begun its annual budget-setting process and is asking residents and businesses for their views as the council wants to help support the economy and make Teignbridge a healthy, more desirable place to live, work and visit.

First details of the budget proposals have been revealed in a report to the council’s executive, who meet on January 8, 2019, which outline a proposed increase in council tax of 3.03 per cent – just £5 per year to Teignbridge’s share of the bill – in order to help protect public services.

It would see Teignbridge’s share of the average band D property council tax bill rise from £165.17 a year to £170.17.

Council Tax is on the increase

Martin Flitcroft, the council’s Chief Finance Officer in his report, explained that significant government funding cuts and cost changes will affect the council in future years, which means the council tax bill is set to rise.

They are:

  • A 4.9 per cent increase in the statutory National Living Wage from £7.83 to £8.21 next year
  • Pay increases for current and future years with a flat rate increase for the majority of grades of 2 per cent in each year and higher increases on lower pay points of up to 9.2 per cent in 2018/19 and a further 5.9 per cent in 2019/20.
  • The proposal to cease New Homes Bonus after 2019/20 and replace with an alternative source of housing funding
  • Cuts in government funding over with the revenue support grant reducing to NIL for 2019/20 and thereafter
  • Additional staffing, leasing and running costs to maintain delivery of the refuse and recycling service and for the additional dwellings being built and in occupation.

The report adds: “Future savings expected from the Strata partnership have been fed into the plan. The increasing cost reductions from the previous management restructures, recent changes and interim arrangements are included. The plan also includes the significant ongoing returns from Market Walk.”

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, leader of the council, has previously said that the council’s decision to purchase the Market Walk shopping centre in Newton Abbot is keeping council tax bills down by £20 a year.

Conservative council leader Cllr Jeremy Christophers

Mr Flitcroft’s report adds that an increase of £368,000 in income is anticipated for next year, but it says that ‘detailed recommended fees and charges will be available on the website early in January via the members’ newsletter.’

But the report says: “There are minimal changes proposed for leisure charges with a small change in income for next year.

“Car parking charges are proposed to increase to give extra income of £57,000, which equates to an increase of 1.6 per cent. This will help towards inflation and in particular the rates increase arising from the revaluation that mostly affects car parks.

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“The main changes have been to increase charges generally across the majority of car parks. This includes the permits which were not increased last year. However to support the town centres, it is proposed to reduce the parking charges in these areas up to one hour.

“The successful opt in green waste subscription has been increased by £5, the first increase since its introduction. The revised fee continues to be below the national average and the average charge within Devon.”

The full details of proposed budget changes and charges and fees have not yet been revealed.

The budget also outlines projects that are included in infrastructure delivery plan investment over the next few years, with money set aside for a new railway station at Marsh Barton, improvements to the A382, education, green spaces, refurbishments of play areas at Decoy and the Den, and cycle provision.

Cllr Stuart Barker, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources said: “Like many other local authorities Teignbridge continues to face significant financial challenges. We have taken a number of steps to help us deliver and improve services, work well within our means and keep inflation increases to a minimum.

Cllr Stuart Barker
Cllr Stuart Barker

“We want to set a budget that addresses the priorities and allows the council to prepare for the grant reductions we know are happening. Make sure you have your say so we can take all views into account before producing our final budget proposals.”

Of the total average annual £1,834.97 council tax collected per property, Teignbridge retains just nine per cent – £165.17 of the current total bill. This figure has reduced from just under 12 per cent in 2002/03 and is now the equivalent of £3.17 per week for its services.

The rest is shared between Devon County Council (72 per cent), the Police (10 per cent), the Fire Authority (5 per cent), and 4 per cent to parishes and towns.

People can have their say through a budget survey which asks respondents to indicate whether they agree or disagree with five statements including one about the proposed rise.

The survey can be found here: www.teignbridge.gov.uk/liveconsultations and ends on Friday, February 1.

The initial report will be discussed by Teignbridge’s executive on January 8, before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet on January 14 to consider Executive’s financial plans.

Executive will consider the final financial proposals on February 7 before Full Council will meet on February 28 to consider and agree the final financial proposals and council tax resolution.

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