Average council tax bills will go up by £87.79 in the coming year after a series of rate-setting meetings at district and county level. The total for a Band D property will be £1644.34. Taunton Deane’s share, paying for planning, social housing and waste collection, is £152.88 – up £5.00 on last year. The biggest hike comes in the cost of policing.
Taunton council Leader John Williams said: “It is a significant achievement that we have set a balanced budget for the coming year despite the challenges we face with local government funding being drastically cut year on year.
“The improved business rates figure has certainly helped, enabling us to deliver our budget for 2018-19 without using our reserves while continuing to support the delivery of key services to our community. The small increase in Council Tax will raise an additional £207,000, which goes towards protecting vital services so valued by the community we serve.”
Taunton Deane will spend almost £9m on maintaining and improving its own housing stock of around 6,000 homes with major works including:
- The replacement of bathrooms as and when required.
- The replacement and upgrade of boilers and heating systems.
- Replacement of fascia, soffits and rainwater goods where necessary.
- Fire Safety Works identified in the TDBC action plan.
- The upgrade of insulation, such as cavity wall and loft insulation.
Council tenants will see their rent fall by 1% – from an average £82.52 per week to £81.69 per week in 2018/19.
The capital allocation for regeneration is increased from £2.5m to £3.5m to enable the delivery of major schemes in the centre of Taunton, such as Firepool and Coal Orchard, but there is no major spending in Wellington.