Residents in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge face a 4.6% increase in their council tax bills this year following a decision by town councillors last night (Monday, January 16th).

Members of the council’s Policy and Finance Committee discussed the council’s precept for the coming financial year and decided that a small increase is necessary.

Council tax payers in Band D proprties will see their council tax bills rise by 4.6% or £3.92 per year under the proposals from the start of the financial year in April.

The committee set the precept – the council’s budget – at £556,543. While that is up from £524,980 last year, the committee heard that one of the key reasons for the rise is a £20,000 reduction in the support grant funding for the Town Council from Sedgemoor District Council due to central government cutbacks.

Committee Chairman Cllr Mike Facey said: “I’d like the increase to be kept to a minimum, but we have seen a cut in our funding and general inflation across the board, however we have not cut back any services.”

Town Clerk Denise Emery told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It looked last autumn as though we’d need to raise the Band D council tax rates by 5% but we have been extra careful to keep the increase as low as possible without affecting services.”

Cllr Andy Brewer added: “Thanks to the due diligence of the Clerk, we have not needed to go for the maximum 5% increase and are maintaining our services – this is a good position.”

The increase was proposed by Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton and seconded by Cllr Andy Brewer during Monday’s meeting.

The recommendation from the Policy and Finance Committee to increase council tax bills will be put to a final vote at the next full Town Council meeting in February.