Faced with further budget reductions from central government the vast majority of Council’s across the UK are increasing their Council Tax bills. On 26th February, Full Council voted to increase Torridge’s share of the Council Tax by £5 for 2018/19; the equivalent of 10p per week but most Torridge residents will pay less than this.
This means that Torridge’s average Band D Council Tax will rise from £153.66 to £158.66. It is proposed that the additional resources be directed to Economic Regeneration.
Although Torridge collects the Council Tax, they do not keep it all, retaining around 9p out of every £1 collected. The bulk of Council Tax receipts continue to go to Devon County Council which has already voted to increase their share of the Council Tax by 4.99%, plus the Fire and Police Services have also increased their share, so despite Torridge only adding £5 to the bill, our local communities will unfortunately still face increases of around £85 in their Council Tax this year.
Local residents, businesses and communities are at the very heart of everything Torridge District Council does, and the Council continues to reshape the way we will be working in the future and to achieve a balanced budget and effectively manage the impact of significant reductions in grants from central government, this small Council Tax rise has been necessary.
Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Customer Services, Councillor David Hurley said: “Torridge is a low wage economy and across the district, families are struggling to keep up with the cost of living. That’s why it is so crucial that Councils do as much as they can to help. We do operate under increasing budgetary constraints but we are determined to do all that is possible to limit the burden on our Council Tax payers. Financial reductions from Central Government and changes to the method that that payment is delivered bring ever-increasing pressures to local Councils to provide a balanced budget. I believe that the relatively small increase in the Councils share of the Council Tax will help secure the balanced budget and financial security of this Council, and thus ensure that the service provided to our Residents and visitors meets the expectations that they hold.”
Torridge is still providing flexible payment options to local residents in order to pay their Council Tax on time and when it suits them. Council Tax payers throughout the district can opt to pay in either 10 or 12 monthly instalments, thereby helping them to manage tight household budgets. Torridge also offers additional payment dates each month: residents can opt to pay on the 1st, 7th, 15th, 21st or 28th of each month.