Published: February 19, 2010
Three per cent rise in council tax bills for Burnham-On-Sea area

Sedgemoor District CouncilResidents in Burnham-On-Sea will pay three per cent higher council tax charges in the coming year after the district council this week voted in favour of a small rise.

Sedgemoor District Council set its proportion of the council tax at 3 per cent for the coming year, equating to a rise of £3.81 on every Band D property in the disrict.

It means the average resident's bill will rise from from £126.84 to £130.65.

Every 1% rise in Council Tax bills raises £61,000 in funding for cash-strapped Sedgemoor District Council.

At Sedgemoor's budget-setting meeting on Wednesday, councillors and members of the public heard how Sedgemoor has achieved a balanced budget despite a tough financial climate.

Council Leader Cllr Duncan McGinty, pictured below, said in his budget speech: "For many years, we have kept our portion of the council tax as low as possible, whilst maintaining and improving services - and this Council is proud of that record."

Cllr Duncan McGinty"However, we now recognise the need to use our precepting powers to the maximum if we are to continue to provide essential and valued services. Pound for pound, we are still the lowest 'Band D' equivalent across the County and we have managed to contain increases for the coming year to only £3.81 on a band D property, with the tax rising from £126.84 to £130.65. This 3 per cent increase is in line with the capping limit as we understand it. In real terms, this equates to just seven pence a week."

It comes just weeks after Burnham and Highbridge Town Council also voted in favour of a separate 20p a week increase in local council tax rates - as reported here by Burnham-On-Sea.com.

The council also revealed that more than £500,000 has been directed towards a new recycling service, called SORT It Plus, with all residents within Sedgemoor getting a kerbside cardboard and plastic bottle recycling service by the end of 2010.

Separately, £70,000 has been earmarked for a new scheme to help reduce youth homelessness called 'NightStop'. The scheme will see young people who become homeless in an emergency being able to access accommodation in a family home as opposed to bed and breakfast accommodation, which is expensive and often inappropriate.

The cash-strapped council has also made savings of almost £1million over year which have enabled the Council to set a balanced budget as it is legally required. This has been achieved by reducing senior management costs; reducing administration and back office support services and driving out further reductions across the front line services.

Mr McGinty added: "Yet again this year, we have faced a very challenging budget round, perhaps the most challenging yet. Sedgemoor District Council is not immune to the impacts and pressures of the financial climate and has faced the problems that have come with it. For that reason, I am extremely pleased to be able to put before you a balanced budget that continues to deliver priority services and has allowed some further investment in areas of particular need."


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