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Budget survey findings support council priorities

Proposals to increase council tax by a below inflation 2.99 per cent so as to continue to fund key services has been overwhelmingly supported by respondents to our budget survey.

Of the 870 people and organisations that took part, 76 per cent backed the proposed council tax increase - the equivalent of less than 11p per week for an average band D property - and 64% supported continuing to fund council priorities.

The additional council tax funding is needed to continue to provide core services such as waste and recycling, street cleaning, planning, licensing, car parking, environmental health, homelessness and election organisation.  The council is also maintaining its 100% council tax reduction scheme for those who need it most.

Of the money raised by the council tax only eight pence in the pound goes to the council with the rest going to Devon County Council, The Police and the Fire and Rescue service.

The council remains committed to supporting the vulnerable, investing in housing, jobs and key infrastructure as well as tackling climate change.

Respondents were also asked to prioritise seven non statutory services the council funds and open spaces such as countryside parks came top followed by leisure centres and swimming pools, beaches and resorts, toilets, play parks, community transport and markets.

The survey also asked people for their views on the best way to balance the books moving forward with 46 per cent supporting increasing council tax, 44 per cent wanting to see more budget savings, 41 per cent generating more income through charging for services and 33 per cent backing cutting back on the discretionary services we provide.

In general feedback, there were many comments on healthy living, sports, and leisure, specifically in some cases not closing swimming pools or leisure centres. When examining the responses closely, road maintenance and sorting out potholes, is particularly concerning residents and we will continue to work with Devon County Council to make sure this message is heard.  

Executive Member for Corporate Services Cllr Richard Keeling thanked everyone who had taken part: “Your feedback will be shared with councillors before final budget decisions are taken on 27 February,“ he said.  “What you told us in the survey will continue to influence our approach throughout the coming year listening and acting where possible as a community empowered council."

A report on the survey feedback forms part of the budget papers for 27 Full Council.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 6 March 2024