Taunton Deane Council tax rise to fund flood work on Somerset Levels

Somerset County Gazette: Cuts protestors outside Deane House in Taunton. Cuts protestors outside Deane House in Taunton.

PEOPLE in Taunton and Wellington will pay more for council tax to help fund flood prevention schemes on the Somerset Levels.

Taunton Deane Council has had to close a budget gap of £1million to balance the books next year and the council tax rise would increase the average Band D bill by 5p a week to £137.89 - roughly a tenth of overall bills.

The council, which is responsible for services such as planning, environmental health and rubbish collection, say their £50,000 contribution towards the dredging of the Rivers Tone and Parrett, see page six, is funded by the council tax increase.

Among the cuts and savings, agreed on Tuesday night, are the closure of eight public toilets, axing the parish liaison office post, reduced in-house costs for revenues and benefits services, saving £134,000, and there will be fewer health and safety check of play equipment in parks.

The council say they have received £800,000 less from the Government than last year and their budget gap is set to rise to £3.1million by 2018-19 unless other measures are taken.

Central government has, historically, provided the majority of money to local authorities but, due to the pressures on the public purse, Taunton Deane will have seen its annual grant reduce by almost half over the five years to 2015 - down by 44% or £3.46million.

Despite the cuts, council bosses pledge to invest an extra £15,000 to pay the costs of extra grass cutting and frequent dog bin emptying.

They also say there will be continued investment in housing with a £7.75million programme of improvements to its current council homes, £500,000 spent on new homes, and investment in disabled facilities grants which enable people to live at home for longer.

They will invest £1.6 million in supporting initiatives to regenerate Taunton, £600,000 for disabled facilities and vehicles, and a £20,950 one-off “dowry” to Wiveliscombe and Milverton parish councils to enable them to take over public loos.

To recoup some of the costs, they will increase planning advice charges, axe two jobs and nine vacant posts, and join management and share services with West Somerset Council, a move they say will deliver significant annual savings.

CUTS/SAVINGS INCLUDE:

  • Council house rents are going up 6.23%, taking the average up by £4.81 to £82.06.
  • Off-street parking through reduced costs and contract changes: £97,000.
  • Garden waste extra income from increased demand and charges: £70,000.
  • Legal and democratic services from scrapping Axing parish liaison office post: £36,100.
  • Planning and development through growth in fee income and increased fees: £100,000.
  • Closure of eight public loos, £94,350. Nine public toilets, including those in French Weir Park, Victoria Park and Canon Street car park in Taunton, and North Street, Wellington, will be saved.
  • Play equipment inspected monthly instead of weekly, £24,000.
  • Reduced in-house costs for revenues and benefits services, £134,000.
  • Nine vacant posts not filled and two staff made redundant.

POSSIBLE CUTS/SAVINGS IN FUTURE YEARS:

  • Increased car parking charges: £190,000.
  • Strategic review of leisure services: £103,000.
  • Service changes to waste and recycling: £100,000.
  • Reduction in unplanned/responsive grounds maintenance works: £29,700.
  • Reduction in CCTV monitoring at lowest risk sites, £14,000.

Comments (12)

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12:03pm Wed 26 Feb 14

FreeSpeech? says...

Amazing though that they are still able to spend £100,000s on the Brewhouse with continued funding to prop it up, what do we get in return"Taunton Scout and Guide Gang Show". Where does the queue end for tickets to that?
Amazing though that they are still able to spend £100,000s on the Brewhouse with continued funding to prop it up, what do we get in return"Taunton Scout and Guide Gang Show". Where does the queue end for tickets to that? FreeSpeech?

12:58pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Mi_Coc says...

FreeSpeech? wrote:
Amazing though that they are still able to spend £100,000s on the Brewhouse with continued funding to prop it up, what do we get in return"Taunton Scout and Guide Gang Show". Where does the queue end for tickets to that?
Exactly makes me laugh when I challenged the decesion I was told it was made by demoncraticly elected councilors.

I thouight central goverment were so rich they could fund the works and flood recovery or has dave changed his mind and the locals will have to pay. Can't moan about it to much as 60 homes were flooded on purpose by the EA so that my taunton home wasn't. I suppose.
[quote][p][bold]FreeSpeech?[/bold] wrote: Amazing though that they are still able to spend £100,000s on the Brewhouse with continued funding to prop it up, what do we get in return"Taunton Scout and Guide Gang Show". Where does the queue end for tickets to that?[/p][/quote]Exactly makes me laugh when I challenged the decesion I was told it was made by demoncraticly elected councilors. I thouight central goverment were so rich they could fund the works and flood recovery or has dave changed his mind and the locals will have to pay. Can't moan about it to much as 60 homes were flooded on purpose by the EA so that my taunton home wasn't. I suppose. Mi_Coc

1:45pm Wed 26 Feb 14

ladybird14 says...

i thought camron was going to be sorting the bill for the flooding as he clearing said on a number of times what a rich country we are , but again it looks like everybody is going to suffer by upping our council bills (robber bills) taking from the poor / working class again . is camron just giving our poor local farmers £5000. and his rich funds will be helping the floods nearer to london?
i thought camron was going to be sorting the bill for the flooding as he clearing said on a number of times what a rich country we are , but again it looks like everybody is going to suffer by upping our council bills (robber bills) taking from the poor / working class again . is camron just giving our poor local farmers £5000. and his rich funds will be helping the floods nearer to london? ladybird14

2:01pm Wed 26 Feb 14

FreeSpeech? says...

Why may I ask is TDBC putting up their part of the bill when surely SCC has born the brunt of cost. My thinking is is that they were itching to increase it anywayand the flooding sounded like a plausible excuse.
Why may I ask is TDBC putting up their part of the bill when surely SCC has born the brunt of cost. My thinking is is that they were itching to increase it anywayand the flooding sounded like a plausible excuse. FreeSpeech?

3:00pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Mi_Coc says...

Surely if avon and someret police have money to spend £20k investigating the theft of a scotch egg in minehead they could take a cut to funding.

Like TDBC they plead poverty and then do silly things with monet like buy all the speed cameras and then re comission them and the remark the roads masurement markings. They seem to frittering money away for a force with budget restrictions.
Surely if avon and someret police have money to spend £20k investigating the theft of a scotch egg in minehead they could take a cut to funding. Like TDBC they plead poverty and then do silly things with monet like buy all the speed cameras and then re comission them and the remark the roads masurement markings. They seem to frittering money away for a force with budget restrictions. Mi_Coc

5:14pm Wed 26 Feb 14

nat_11 says...

Send this news to the national papers , so they can see what a lying back stabbing con-merchant that Cameron is !
Send this news to the national papers , so they can see what a lying back stabbing con-merchant that Cameron is ! nat_11

6:21pm Wed 26 Feb 14

xxmatronxx says...

Maybe Mr Liddel Grainger would like to receive some e-mails from us all so he can answer why we are having an increase in our council tax after his leader said what a wealthy country we are and that the Tories would be footing our flooding bill. Not that he will respond to any questions......only comes out of the cupboard for his photo opportunities. Hope you all remember the lies the Tories have told us when it comes to the elections. I will.
Maybe Mr Liddel Grainger would like to receive some e-mails from us all so he can answer why we are having an increase in our council tax after his leader said what a wealthy country we are and that the Tories would be footing our flooding bill. Not that he will respond to any questions......only comes out of the cupboard for his photo opportunities. Hope you all remember the lies the Tories have told us when it comes to the elections. I will. xxmatronxx

7:16pm Wed 26 Feb 14

On-it-like-sonic says...

foreign aid money should be spent on the flood damage , once again locals are footing the bill!
foreign aid money should be spent on the flood damage , once again locals are footing the bill! On-it-like-sonic

2:41am Thu 27 Feb 14

ladybird14 says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
Surely if avon and someret police have money to spend £20k investigating the theft of a scotch egg in minehead they could take a cut to funding.

Like TDBC they plead poverty and then do silly things with monet like buy all the speed cameras and then re comission them and the remark the roads masurement markings. They seem to frittering money away for a force with budget restrictions.
and not forgetting the under cover drug op last week,dealer a mother court red handed dealing two class A drugs to two under cover cops and the courts let her go to me shes got away scot free (haha) but what a waste of us tax payers money and better still how must our police feel they have done their job its all a big joke!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: Surely if avon and someret police have money to spend £20k investigating the theft of a scotch egg in minehead they could take a cut to funding. Like TDBC they plead poverty and then do silly things with monet like buy all the speed cameras and then re comission them and the remark the roads masurement markings. They seem to frittering money away for a force with budget restrictions.[/p][/quote]and not forgetting the under cover drug op last week,dealer a mother court red handed dealing two class A drugs to two under cover cops and the courts let her go to me shes got away scot free (haha) but what a waste of us tax payers money and better still how must our police feel they have done their job its all a big joke!!!! ladybird14

3:06pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Jackal1001 says...

Shame about all the floods, just hope they can sort it out going forward. It is going to cost some people a small fortune if they are not insured. Just looking at ways to save money some I saw this http://www.bedlinend
irect.co.uk/blog/wha
t-to-do-with-flood-d
amaged-duvets-and-be
d-linen/ and thought well if people are posting blogs like this then things must be bed already without the local council chipping in.
Shame about all the floods, just hope they can sort it out going forward. It is going to cost some people a small fortune if they are not insured. Just looking at ways to save money some I saw this http://www.bedlinend irect.co.uk/blog/wha t-to-do-with-flood-d amaged-duvets-and-be d-linen/ and thought well if people are posting blogs like this then things must be bed already without the local council chipping in. Jackal1001

6:27pm Sat 1 Mar 14

ladybird14 says...

On-it-like-sonic wrote:
foreign aid money should be spent on the flood damage , once again locals are footing the bill!
yes we should be sorting our own country out i say charity begins at home !!
[quote][p][bold]On-it-like-sonic[/bold] wrote: foreign aid money should be spent on the flood damage , once again locals are footing the bill![/p][/quote]yes we should be sorting our own country out i say charity begins at home !! ladybird14

11:09pm Sat 1 Mar 14

feeby12007 says...

It's disgusting how the council uses the recent flooding as an excuse to raise council tax. One can't keep raising the council tax every time something like this happens, that's what our taxes are supposed to be for in the first place. I think the council should find the funds elsewhere and leave us alone, we are already helping so give us a break.
It's disgusting how the council uses the recent flooding as an excuse to raise council tax. One can't keep raising the council tax every time something like this happens, that's what our taxes are supposed to be for in the first place. I think the council should find the funds elsewhere and leave us alone, we are already helping so give us a break. feeby12007

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