and Highbridge council tax bills to rise by 4.95%
and Highbridge residents will see a 4.95% hike in their council
tax bills this April after town councillors last night approved
£20,000 decrease in funding for Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge
from Sedgemoor District Council due to central government cutbacks
has prompted the Town Council to consider the increase.
It was agreed that the amount the Town Council requires to maintain
local services next year is just over £600,000.
hike in bills - which amounts to £4.43 per year or 37p more
per month - was approved at a meeting of the full Town Council on
Monday evening (February 5th).
Town Clerk Tatiana Cant said: "Sedgemoor District Council
has been phasing out the Support Grant which they used to pass on
to town and parish councils. This means that we will receive £20,819
less than last year. It has been very difficult to make adjustments
to accommodate this serious deficit."
"The amount the Council requires to maintain local services
next year is just over £600,000 and this means that the Town
Council element of the Council Tax bill will rise slightly - by
£4.43 per Band D property per year. This equates to 37p more
per month per household."
Pictured: The increase was unanimously approved by councillors
She explained how the council decides on a figure for its budget:
"Setting our budget involves looking at our expenditure for
the previous year and anticipating our outgoings for the year ahead."
"We also consider the income weve received this year
and our anticipated income for next year. Our main sources of income
are the Princess Theatre, and cemeteries and allotments but
in all cases these also require expense from the Council to maintain
"Each Council Committee has scrutinised their own Committee
budget and after careful consideration, councillors have now arrived
at the final figure."
Services run by the Town Council include providing the Princess
Theatre community space, maintaining three cemeteries, statutory
responses to planning applications, maintaining allotments and supporting
youth projects. The grant pot for funding to community groups remains
with £45,000 to support local initiatives.
The Town Council has also agreed to support the Number 67 Bus route
from Burnham to Wells, and Tatiana explained: "This is an excellent
collaborative venture between all the parishes along the route but
we are making the largest contribution - £5,500 as we are
the largest parish. We have also allocated £2,000 towards
promoting tourism in the towns."
Mike Facey, the Town Council's Policy and Finance Committee Chairman,
added: "We need to put this increase into perspective with
other Somerset towns - Bridgwater's increase is 9%, Chard's is 15%
and Cheddar is 9.95% - so Burnham and Highbridge's rise is small
am pleased to say will be maintaining all our services - there is
no loss of staff or services, and will continue to keep up our high
Andy Brewer noted: "The increase is just £4.43 a year
or less than 10p a week."
increase was proposed by Cllr Andy Brewer and seconded by Cllr Janet
Keen with unanimous support.