East Devon element of Council Tax to rise by £5/year…
At our meeting on 8th February, East Devon District Council Cabinet recommended a Council Tax increase of £5 per year. This will increase the Council Tax of a Band D property to £131.78 per year for 2017/18.
Why do I pay so much more than that in Council Tax?
Only a very small proportion of Council Tax collected by East Devon District Council is kept by the authority for the services it provides. These include refuse and recycling, housing and homelessness, environmental health and pest control, public toilets and parking…
Of the £1,635.79 collected by EDDC in 2016/17 by a band D property, recipients were…
Devon County Council : £1,207.62 (74%)
Police & Crime Commissioner for Devon & Cornwall : £172.84 (11%)
East Devon District Council : £126.78 (8%)
Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue : £79.98 (5%)
Town and Parish Councils (average) (Uplyme is £23.59) : £48.57 (3%)
*** Please note, this article was written before authorities, other than East Devon District Council confirmed budgets for the coming year***
Full details of the 2017/18 rate for all bodies are likely to be published this month.
Boundary Commission suggests Trinity Ward remain unchanged…
Uplyme, along with Combpyne-Rousdon and Axmouth, is in the Trinity ward of East Devon District Council. The Boundary Commission periodically reviews electoral boundaries to ensure that each elected member represents a broadly equal number of electors. From time to time, numbers move out of balance, a situation now applicable to East Devon where several wards, including Trinity, have members representing elector numbers more that 10% different to the average across the District.
Final consultation on the final Boundary Commission proposals has started and runs to the 3rd April 2017. It proposes that East Devon should have 60 councillors (one more than the current number) in 30 wards (two less than now). The increase is also driven by the large increase in population associated with Cranbrook new town.
The proposal suggests that our boundary in Trinity ward remains unchanged.
If you want to see detailed proposals for East Devon, and add your comments, these are on the commission website http://eastdevon.gov.uk/consultation.lgbce.org.uk/ with maps of proposed new ward boundaries.
EDDC looks at different ways to deliver more ‘truly affordable housing’…
What’s the problem?
Developers and private landlords are failing to provide enough suitable homes affordable to local residents. Central Government repeatedly recycles policies and initiatives they hope will deliver the shortfall, yet imposes onerous conditions compromising a local authority’s ability to deliver. Since 2012, councils have been hit by a series of Central Government financial changes which bizarrely make it harder for councils to deliver homes for rent or purchase.
Right to buy
Has been relaunched for council tenants. Tenants can purchase the home they had been renting for an increased discount. The problem is that where housing stock, rented at a discount on free market rates, is sold it is not being replaced. This means that less, rather than more, such homes are available for future families. The loss in housing stock is dramatic, with only 7,000 of the 45,000 houses sold under the Right to Buy scheme since 2012 being replaced. From 2018, councils will also have to pay a levy to the Treasury to fund Right to Buy for housing association tenants.
All social landlords were required by central government to reduce rents by 1% in 2016-17, and in each of the next three years. This significantly reduces local authority rental revenues and hence its ability to add additional properties to the housing stock from rental income.
These are all central government policies, imposed on local authorities, yet which compromise the local authority’s ability to meet local housing needs and damage business plans designed to provide additional homes.
Frustrated local authorities, including we in East Devon, are actively seeking alternate ways to deliver the new homes we need using alternate ways of management. Options already being used by other authorities include Joint Venture or Subsidiary Companies, which can take new homes outside the scope of Right to Buy. This can help ensure that such additional homes continue to be available for social housing. Whilst there is a danger central government will again ‘move the goalposts’ it is essential the council considers such options.
More details are in the recent Housing Review Board agenda, item 12 pages 49-60
Full details on all stories and the latest news on my website www.trinitymatters.co.uk
Cllr Ian Thomas – Trinity Ward, East Devon District Council
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