February 25, 2016
3.6% council tax rise approved for Burnham by district councillors

Sedgemoor District Council has this week decided to raise its council tax charges for residents in the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area by 3.6% as it set its budget for the coming year.

Sedgemoor will increase its portion of the council tax by £5 from April.

Therefore, the council tax portion for Sedgemoor in the coming year will be set at an average of £145.52, or £2.80 per week on a band D property, for all the services that Sedgemoor provides.

The Leader of Council, Councillor Duncan McGinty, presented draft proposals from the Conservative group to close the council's £381,000 funding gap during this week's full council meeting. Cllr Mick Lerry, Leader of the SDC Labour Group, presented alternative proposals.

The meeting heard that the Government has continued to reduce the support grant it gives to councils, eliminating the grant completely by 2020. For Sedgemoor, this means a cut of more than £800,000 this year.

Other Somerset councils have added an additional 1.25% precept onto the council tax for the Somerset Rivers Authority to fund flood prevention work. This is a temporary arrangement pending the primary legislation required to give the SRA powers to raise its own funds.

The SRA has received no central Government funding for 2016/17. As the worst affected area during the 2014 flooding, Sedgemoor is committed to achieving the protections needed for the future. Sedgemoor will provide its share of the funding of £68,000 from the community development fund, rather than adding an additional precept to the long list on each council tax bill. Sedgemoor council tax payers already fund the Internal Drainage Boards to a tune of £1.3 million per year, that’s £33.47 per Band D household every year (23%).

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