When this content has been published
Published on 10 February 2023
Budget survey findings support council priorities
Significant support for the council’s priorities of tackling climate change, housing and jobs was the headline finding in its recent budget survey, completed by more than 1000 people.
An analysis of the feedback shows that 67% of respondents supported this year’s plan to increase council tax by 2.99% (the equivalent of £5.54 per year for a Band D property) to help maintain essential services.
But in future, 78% of respondents thought the best way to balance the budget was for the council to generate more income with 35% preferring more budget savings and 23% council tax increases.
Ahead of finalising the budget for the next financial year councillors will see that 74% of respondents agreed that we should work with others to support climate change initiatives; 69% thought we should continue to support housing as a priority; and 78% supported strengthening the economy and boosting jobs through improving town centres.
Improving transport links received strong support (79%) as did attracting new businesses into the District (87%) and investing in schemes that promote better health and wellbeing through leisure and recreational spaces (75%).
The proposal to refund £5.54 as a one-off cost of living payment for all those eligible to pay council tax on their main home attracted 42% support with 37% opposing the idea and 21% neither for or against the proposal.
Executive Member for Corporate Resources Cllr Richard Keeling thanked everyone who responded to the survey. “We really appreciate the feedback residents have provided and are delighted to see such strong support on issues such as tackling climate change and housing.
“This survey provides lots of useful information which will be considered by members ahead of the budget meeting on 21 February.”
Views on council performance
Questions were also asked in the survey to gauge people’s views on the way the council was performing and 48 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with the way the council was run compared to 21% who were not.
Waste and recycling and street cleansing services were given a thumbs up with 76% and 46% respectively satisfied compared with 15% and 29% who were not. Some 80% were satisfied that Teignbridge was a good place to live with a similar percentage believing they were kept informed by the council.
Asked who they trusted most to make decision about services, almost 60% of respondents backed the council compared with 3% who opted for the government with 33% not trusting either. Councillors were also substantially trusted more than MPs or Government Ministers to make service decisions.
Cllr Keeling added: “These are positive figures which are better than what people told us last year. We must as a local authority continue to improve the way we operate and engage with residents so we increase satisfaction and reduce the number who do not trust the council.”