Council Tax bills hit the doorstep, with 5% overall increase…
Our Council Tax bill for 2017/18 has dropped on the mat this morning. After years of little or no increase, this year is very different. East Devon District Council will be collecting approximately 5% more than last year. This is a significant increase for many households on one of their largest bills. For many, it is unlikely Council Tax increases will be reflected by similar household income growth.
East Devon District Council collects Council Tax, not just on its own behalf, but contributions for Devon County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, and a Parish or Town Council – for us, Uplyme Parish Council.
Funding and budgets are often seen as ‘dry’ or ‘boring’ subjects, but they affect us all. As Cabinet Member, responsible for Finance at East Devon District Council, I hope you find my, very brief, summary of 2017/18 Council Tax and its effect on us in Uplyme, as ‘interesting’ as possible?!
How much more is for each authority for 2017/18?
£1,691.74 Council Tax will be collected by EDDC in 2017/18 from an Uplyme Band D property. The average for similar properties across East Devon is £1,714.87. Recipients will be;
Authority; 2017/18 % Inc £ Inc % of Total
Devon County Council £1,267.92 4.99% £60.30 74%
Police & Crime Commissioner £176.28 1.99% £3.44 10%
East Devon District Council £131.78 3.94% £5.00 8%
Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue £81.57 1.99% £1.59 5%
Uplyme Parish Council £34.19 44.93% £10.60 3%
What do they do for us?
Devon County Council provides education, roads, care for older people and people with disabilities, child protection, youth services, libraries, recycling and waste disposal services.
DCC receives by far the lion’s share of council tax collections. Its’ £1,267.92 charge, is an increase of 4.99% or £60.30 per property over last year. 3%, or £36.23 relates to additional funding for adult social care, which adds just over £10.2m. This additional important funding for adult social care comes through a call through DCC’s council tax authorised by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. It is expected to be repeated each year to 2019-20.
Unfortunately, overall Central Government funding for DCC will reduce by £23.3m, from £151.6m in 2016/17 to £128.3m in 2017/18. This means that our county council still faces significant funding challenges and pressure on the delivery of services.
East Devon District Council provides refuse collection, kerbside recycling, council housing, planning, street cleaning, parks play areas and leisure centres.
The authority plans to spend £75.2m this year, providing services to approx.138,000 people. £30m will be spent on Housing Benefit payments and £4.6m collecting waste and recycling, leaving £36.5m for other services.
£63.3m, down £5.2m from last year, comes from income received from government grants, housing rents, fees and charges. This leaves £7.6m to be raised from council tax, an increase of £0.4m
Devon & Cornwall Police Authority provides law and order and crime reduction.
The police authority will receive £176.28 from each Band D property this year, an increase of 1.99%. Council Tax receipts provide the force with £103.1m of the total £298m it has budgeted to spend.
Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue provides fire prevention and fire and rescue services.
Fire and rescue revenue budgets for 2017/18 reduced by £1.6m over last year to £72.6m. Increases in pay, prices and funding of investments designed to make future saving, have been more than compensated by budget savings. Council Tax funding requirement increased by £1.8m to £49m.
Government grants reduced by £3m in 2017/18 over 2016/17. A reduction of 24.6% is expected in the period 2016/17 to 2019/20 – the seventh worst settlement of all fire authorities in the country!
Not surprisingly, our fire authority in continuing to lobby Central Government to argue the case of challenges facing a rural fire authority.
Uplyme Parish Council uses its precept, collected via Council Tax, to provide local amenities.
The 2017/18 ‘precept’ to serve Uplyme parish is £29,817.00 (£34.19), a 45% increase from £20,239.97 (£23.59/property) in 2016/17. However, Uplyme 2017/18 precept is still £23.13 less than the average for East Devon Town and Parish Councils, of £57.32 per property.
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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