Published: February 21, 2013
Burnham council tax payers will see 8.5p a week increase from April

Council tax bills will rise by a further 8.5p a week across the Burnham-On-Sea area from April after Sedgemoor District Council this week raised its proportion of the council tax by 3.4%.

At a district council meeting on Wednesday, council leader Duncan McGinty said that Sedgemoor has achieved a balanced budget, despite the tough financial climate.

Wednesday's decision comes just two weeks after Burnham and Highbridge Town Council also raised its tax demand by 5.5p a week, as we reported here.

Cllr McGinty outlined how £394,000 will be further invested into the community by Sedgemoor District Council. £250,000 will be made available for the Empty Homes initiative to provide improvement loans to private sector landlords with the specific aim of bringing properties back into use.

An additional £45,000 has been earmarked for tackling homelessness, and £70,000 will be available to the community via a grants process. £29,000 has also been set aside to maintain weed spraying along our highways and to maintain grass verges.

Cllr McGinty, pictured, said the council's funding gap of £650,000 has been closed by freezing external appointments and introducing a robust redeployment process in order to maximise external income and setting managers a target of 5% reductions/increased income within their group. There will also be no inflationary increases on contracts and purchases and the council will reduce senior management costs across the council by 2016/17.

Cllr McGinty said: "Pound for pound, we are still the lowest Band D equivalent across Somerset. Therefore, SDC’s proportion of council tax for Sedgemoor in the coming year will be set at an average £135.09 for a band D property."

"This budget is not about the short term or a quick fix, but recognises the need to plan prudently as agreed by this Council in the Medium Term Financial Plan. We are proud to have the lowest council tax in the county, whilst still delivering jobs and significant economic growth into Sedgemoor."

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