Council’s portion of the Council Tax bill still one of the lowest in the country

East Devon District Council has agreed a modest £5 annual Council Tax increase for an average property for 2017/18 to ensure it continues to provide excellent value for money services for its residents.

The authority’s portion of the annual Council Tax bill for a Band D property will be £131.78 a year or £2.53 a week for all the services it provides. The amount is the lowest in Devon and one of the lowest in the country. The £5 increase, which was approved by the Council last night (February 22) is less than 10p extra per week.

The Council takes just 8p in every pound of the total Council Tax bill with the rest of the money going to Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service along with town and parish councils.

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, told last night’s full council meeting that there were exciting opportunities ahead as the council moves forward with its relocation programme and brings about further efficiencies through its combined working with Devon County, Exeter, Teignbridge and Mid Devon Councils.

He told councillors:

None of us are under any illusion that the financial climate is rosy, but we do know that if we continue to address vigorously the problems we face, our constant vigilance will prevail.

As promised, we expect delivery of the new waste and recycling contract, a continuing commitment, to improve efficiencies wherever and whenever possible through better working practice and technical improvements.

Making sure our assets work to best effect for East Devon tax payers and seizing such opportunities as the granting of Enterprise Zone status which will increase economic opportunity and benefit, and perhaps most importantly, my hope that the council can soon establish its own local housing company to increase the housing supply for East Devon people, helping to satisfy the seemingly insatiable demand for new homes.

He said:

We continue to provide excellent value for money for our services which range from conserving and enhancing our stunning environment to coastal protection; from the regeneration of the urban economy in our towns and support for our rural areas.

He praised council officers for their

excellent work across the board in enabling us to reach the position where we are able, yet again, to achieve a balanced budget

and added:

It would be equally remiss of me if I did not recognise the contribution of members, who through the full, open and transparent democratic cycle of the Budget Working Party, Overview & Scrutiny, Cabinet and now Full Council have ensured that anyone who wished to input has had ample opportunity so to do.

Important information for Council Tax payers

More than 68,000 Council Tax bills will be sent out to East Devon households around March 9.

Residents should also be aware that the Council Tax charge is split between Devon County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, East Devon District Council and your town or parish council. If you have a query regarding the amount charged by any of these organisations then to save yourself time, please contact the relevant body direct.

As our phones will be extremely busy during the middle of March you may prefer to email us at counciltax@eastdevon.gov.uk

The easiest way to ensure your Council Tax is paid on time is to set up a Direct Debit online.  You can choose to pay on the 1st, 17th or 25th of the month.

A council spokesman added:

If anyone thinks they are going to struggle to pay this priority bill then the earlier they talk to someone the better. Contact the council and we may be able to reduce the amount of Council tax you have to pay, or change the date you have to pay it. We also offer free independent and confidential help and advice.