‘Ambitious’ plans for Honiton will not impact on people’s purses after the town announced a freeze on council tax to help with the cost-of-living crisis.
East Devon Reporter eastdevonnews.co.uk
The town council said now was the ‘wrong time’ to heap extra burden on households, while announcing no increase on tax for 2023/24.
Honiton Town Council said its 2023/24 budget includes a total charge of £477,979 – which equates to a cost of £112.18 council tax on a Band D property – the same amount payable as in 2022/23.
The council said funds would still be available for recruitment of staff to care for the town’s maintenance, replacing another bus shelter, a new town entrance sign and supporting the market
Honiton’s celebrations for the King’s Coronation, Hot Pennies, Gate to Plate and Charter Day are also set to receive funding from the town council this year.
Councillor Serena Sexton, Honiton Town Council chairman, said: “Now would be the wrong time to increase household bills so the town council tax will not increase.”
The town council announcement to keep costs the same comes after members voted for a freeze at its January meeting.
It said the town could still expect council investment totalling thousands of pounds to benefit groups local to Honiton.
Although town charges are frozen for the next year, council tax could rise in Honiton if the district and county councils, police and fire service demand extra cash for services.
A Honiton Town Council spokeswoman said: “The town council recognises the burden of increasing household bills.
“So not to burden people with even more costs it decided 17 January 2023 not to increase its council tax for 2023/24.”
They added: “The budget reflects the public consultation December 2022.
“Nevertheless, the town council has an ambitious programme of work for the year including recruitment of staff to care for the town’s maintenance, replacing another bus shelter, new town entrance sign and supporting the market.”
The spokeswoman said: “The town council continues to support an active programme of events in Honiton during the year including the King’s Coronation, Hot Pennies, Gate to Plate and Charter Day.
“The town council plans a budget of £42,000 grant aid to local organisations.”
There are 3,791 Band D equivalent properties in Honiton, the town council said.