North Tawton council tax bill bucks the inflation trend

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Tuesday 22nd February 2022 5:39 pm
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RESIDENTS of North Tawton will be paying a little bit less a year for their town council services for 2022/23, the authority has declared.

Cllr Steve Whiteley, Chair of North Tawton Town Council’s finance committee, said: "I’m really pleased that despite a rise in inflation we have actually been able to reduce our budget requirement a little.

"We worked hard to identify any savings and reductions which could be made, so the services provided by the council are as cost effective as possible but will still meet the requirements of the next financial year — so a property in council tax Band D will pay 0.79 per cent (£1.53) less than the current year.

"Band D residents will pay £191.92 a year towards the parish precept (the town council’s portion of the council tax), which equates to £3.69 a week."

North Tawton residents paid the highest Band D cost in West Devon Borough for their parish precept last year — £193.45. Tavistock came second at £181.24 per year for Band D households. Budgets for the parishes, however, were vastly different with North Tawton at £132,216 and Tavistock £800,316.

Cllr Jean Trewhitt, Chair of North Tawton Town Council, explained: "Here in North Tawton we are in a difficult position compared to other councils in the West Devon District — we are only a small town, and our parish has a relatively small population, but at the same time we have many properties that we are responsible for. We maintain the Memorial Park, the cemetery, churchyard (because it is a closed churchyard), car parks, public toilets, our office and even the Grade II listed clock tower.

"Even though we try to keep the costs down, this is still a huge commitment which our residents pay for - grass cutting alone is just under £20k per annum for example."

The council maintains an extensive number of trees, grassed areas, seats, planters, along with paying for a lengthsman to carry out additional drainage clearing over and above that provided by Devon County Council.

In contrast to Tavistock which gains much of its income from property, North Tawton’s income is mostly from interments (burials) and amounts to just a few thousand pounds, therefore closing the gap between the budget and what is passed onto the tax payer in the parish precept. Tavistock also has around 14,000 residents and North Tawton around 2,000.

The total budget for North Tawton Town Council in 2022/23 is £139,537 and the parish precept £134,290.

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