Modest precept rise for council
Members of Seaton Valley Council agreed to restrict the increase in its element of the council tax for 2018/19 to two per cent at a recent meeting.
The rise in the precept is less than the current rate of inflation. It means the figure for an average band D property will go up to £116.40 from the £114.12 amount for 2017/18.
The approved budget identifies savings in a number of cost centres, which will be reinvested in new initiatives.
Areas of new investment include funding to provide a number of cycle stands at appropriate locations within Seaton Valley, trialling a scheme to provide large recycling bins in a village centre location based on Northumberland County Council’s existing domestic recycling model, increasing the number of railing floral planting displays throughout the valley, employing a part-time animal welfare officer to further address dog fouling prevention and enforcement, acquiring a further five mobile-activated speed signs and providing a small budget to take an initial step towards helping to set-up an outreach branch of a local food bank in Seaton Valley.
In addition, the local authority agreed to continue to provide funding to resume the process of developing its neighbourhood plan.
Chairman Stephen Stanners said he was pleased that savings could be made in some areas of its business to allow it to reinvest in new initiatives, whilst at the same time keeping council tax increases to a minimum, and he is particularly looking forward to seeing the food bank outreach branch plans develop.