Sidmouth Town Council continues to provide in difficult times
‘Supporting our vibrant community through difficult times’, sums up Sidmouth Town Council’s budget for the next financial year. Whilst setting its budget and maintaining an already increased level of services and activities it provides, the Town Council is also assisting 22 local organisations with grant allocations with a further three applications to be referred to its Environment Working Group.
The precept, which is the Town Council’s share of the Council Tax, was approved by Councillors on Monday 23 January 2023 and included an increase in grant support. The Council will continue to provide many local services such as its own public conveniences on the seafront and water bottle filling fountains which are provided on the Esplanade and at Jacobs ladder. The Council will continue to ensure flower beds are colourful and attractive and the highway verges it manages, kept clean and maintained.
A vibrant economy and promotion of tourism, remains a key aim for the Town Council, with continued support for Sidmouth Folk Festival and a commitment to the Sidmouth Regatta which includes the Sidmouth Air Show, together with the continued provision of Christmas Lights, Sidmouth in Bloom and Sidmouth Town Band. To support its environmental aims, the Council’s Environment Working Group will also consider three further grant awards and will continue to provide advice to residents to help them reduce their energy usage and personal carbon footprint.
The commitment to continue research into the provision of Youth Centre related facilities has received further funding for 2023/24, and also an amount committed to the transfer of the Knowle Arena and Parkland into its ownership.
The Chair of the Town Council, Councillor Chris Lockyear commented “’This budget represents a significant continuation in investment for tourism, youth services, the environment and practical things that help those who live in the Sid Valley. I understand that it is a difficult time financially for many, and with Council service and running costs rising, I am pleased we have been able to limit the increase in precept to 7.7p per week for a Band D property.
We have also been able to increase our level of support to help so many of the organisations that contribute to the cultural, sporting and environmental activities in the Valley.”
While setting its budget for 2023/24, the Council also agreed to award support to organisations across the Sid Valley that support both younger and older residents with sports and social clubs, Arts, Educational and Environmental groups. Local Festivals that entertain and inspire both residents and visitors alike were also supported including the Folk Festival, Science Festival, Sidmouth Jazz and Blues Festival, Sea Fest, the Walking Festival and Sidmouth Carnival.
In line with many other town councils across the country, the Council continues to take on more responsibilities than ever before with the Knowle Parkland due to be transferred shortly. In order to continue to provide local services for its residents, businesses, visitors and support organisations, the authority has agreed to an increase, for 2023/24, in its overall precept of £4.01 a year or 7.7p a week for an average Band D property. The increase means the Council’s portion of the annual Council Tax bill for a Band D property will rise by 4.3% and be £97.59 a year or £1.88 a week.