Taunton Deane Borough Council has set a balanced budget for coming year following approval from the Full Council on Thursday 22 February 2018.
It means the Council can continue its investment in boosting the local economy without cutting services or using its reserves.
It will spend almost £9m on maintaining and improving its own housing stock of almost 6,000 homes with major works including:
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 council’s major economic investment programme which allocated £16.6m over five years towards its growth and development ambitions, will also continue in the year ahead with money earmarked for the following schemes:
The investment is continuing despite the council seeing its overall funding – Government grant and New Homes Bonus (NHB) - reducing. The Government Revenue Support Grant has gone down by £365,000 (57%), and NHB by £470,000 (12%).
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.”
Council Tax will increase by £5 per year – around 10 pence per week – for the average Band D property, taking the total to £2.97 per week. This pays for all TDBC services and includes £1.74 collected for the Somerset Rivers Authority. Taunton Deane’s share of the overall Council tax bill is about 10% of the total with the remainder going to fund Somerset County Council, Police and Fire services, and Town and Parish councils.