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Torridge Councillors agree £5.50 / 2.99% Council Tax rise for Average Band D Property to offset inflationary cost rises and maintain support for vulnerable households and local communities

Torridge Logo Outside

Torridge Logo Outside

Torridge Councillors met at Full Council on Monday 19th February to agree the budget and set the level of Council Tax for the 2024/25 financial year. The approved increase of £5.50 (2.99%) will represent a rise of less than 10p per week for the majority of Torridge residents. Devon County Council approved a rise of £81.54 (4.99%), Police & Crime Commissioner £12.94 (4.95%), Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service £2.89 (2.99%), and the various Town and Parish councils an average of £4.79 (6.08%).

This year's budget setting round has been quite challenging for the Council due to various factors such as inflation, the demand for services, and the ongoing housing crisis. While many Councils are cutting back and raising Council Tax above inflation, Torridge District Council's council tax increase remains below inflation.

In addition to the challenges of the revenue budget, the Council is pleased to announce its largest ever level of capital investment in the district. This investment involves the development of the Appledore Clean Maritime Innovation Centre, a state-of-the-art Operations Centre, as well as improvements to housing, leisure, and public facilities. The benefits of this investment will be felt by residents for many years to come, as the Council modernises assets and develops more efficient services.

The Council has been proactive in investing in additional capacity to residents in need of temporary accommodation bringing a new hostel and 6 self-contained units into service during 2023/24 and reducing spend from around £1.3M in 22/23 to around £800k in 23/24. This remains a key area for future savings deliveries over the next 4 years.

Councillor Ken James - Leader of Torridge District Council said:

"The amount of Council Tax that goes to Torridge makes up only a small proportion of the total payment. 92% is distributed among Devon County Council, the police, fire service, and Parish Councils. But Central Government funding assumes that Councils will have maximised their Council Tax Income in line with referendum limits. If we did not do this the council will end up with insufficient resources to fund the front-line services that many of our residents depend on.

Even the maximum allowed referendum limit for Torridge of £5.50 or 2.99% is significantly below current inflation levels so we will still have to find other savings or increase other returns to bring resources back in to balance. We will continue to lobby the Government for a more generous funding formula for rural Councils, where the costs of providing services are often higher than in cities. At the same time the Member Budget Working Group set up by councillors will continue to explore the most efficient way to deliver these services or improve income." 

March 24

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