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 “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.