January 2018

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Published on 9 January 2018

Have your say on the budget

Teignbridge District Council is asking residents and businesses for their views as it starts the annual budget-setting process.

The council is preparing to debate its budget plans for the coming financial year and invites comment on a questionnaire as it moves towards a final budget for 2018/19.

A report to the Executive today (Tuesday January 9) detailed the savings made by the council over the past year, planned savings in years to come with further investment in key projects that help support the economy and housing growth, and outlines challenges that are being faced.

Further reductions will occur in central funding in future years with Revenue Support Grant disappearing completely in 2019/2020. New Homes Bonus also continues to reduce following changes to the scheme made by government last year. Teignbridge has to make sure it’s providing the services people want, has a better understanding of people’s expectations and is focusing its resources in the right places.

The report also includes a proposed increase in council tax of 3.12% - or £5 per year to Teignbridge’s share of the bill - in order to help protect public services.

People can have their say through a budget survey which asks respondents to indicate whether they agree or disagree with five statements including one about the proposed rise.

The survey can be found at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/liveconsultations and ends on Friday 9 February. The responses will be considered by councillors as they debate and set the budget for the coming year.

Cllr Stuart Barker, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive member for Corporate Resources said:

“When agreeing our spending priorities, it’s important we give our communities the opportunity to give us their views. It will help us make informed decisions when setting our spending priorities.

“Over the years we have responded well to financial challenges without overburdening local taxpayers while still investing in town centres, affordable housing and employment.

“Examples include investing in assets to generate an income, selling or leasing buildings to others, sharing services with partner authorities and taking a long hard look at where efficiencies or income opportunities can be achieved in-house.

“At the same time we provide a long list of services that people value including recycling and waste collections, street cleansing, looking after award-winning nature areas and beaches, providing help to people in need and creating employment and jobs to name but a few.

“Despite our ongoing attempts to keep costs down and generate income inevitably there tends to be a shortfall. This gap has become more difficult to plug given the disappearance of revenue support grant, in 2019/20 and reductions to New Homes Bonus which has been another core funding stream.

“We want to set a budget that addresses the priorities and allows the council to prepare for the grant reductions we know are happening. Make sure you have your say so we can take all views into account before producing our final budget proposals.”

Parish and town councils will have been advised of the draft budget plans along with businesses, Teignbridge’s Residents Panel and other local groups.

Teignbridge’s Overview and Scrutiny will meet on 15 January and 5 February to consider Executive’s financial plans. Executive will consider the final financial proposals on 8 February. Full Council will meet on 22 February to consider and agree the final financial proposals and council tax resolution.