Brixham Band D council tax tops £2k for first time

Torbay Weekly

The council tax bill for Band D payers in Brixham will top £2,000 for the first time.

People living in the town pay an extra levy to cover the spending of Brixham Town Council.

It decided to add £1.39 to its annual bill for Band D payers from April, an increase of 2.45 per cent.

The extra £58.09 for the year for Band D takes the total council tax bill in Brixham to £2,025.65, up by £96.06 or 4.98 per cent.

For the rest of Torbay, the Band D total in April will be £1,967.56 – up by £94.67 or 5.05 per cent.

The final council tax bill includes the sums raised by Torbay Council, the police and fire service, but only people living in Brixham pay towards the town council.

The Torbay Council part of the bill, known as the precept, has gone up by £77.99 to £1,641 for Band D, or 4.99 per cent.

The rise is made up of three per cent which will go directly to adult social care, leaving a 1.99 per cent increase in the core tax which funds services ranging from street lighting to looked-after children.

The council budget includes raising £74.6million from council tax towards its planned spending next year of £115.5million.

The police element for Band D is up by £14.92 or 6.73 per cent to £236.56 for the year. The fire service share is £90, a rise of £1.76 or 1.99 per cent.

Torbay Council approved the council tax levels at a meeting where the Conservative opposition voted against setting the tax, after earlier objecting to the rise of 1.99 per cent in the council’s share of the bill to fund core spending.

The Tories argued that the council could afford to scrap the rise because of financial hardship caused by the pandemic, leaving the three per cent increase to go on adult social care.

Council leader Steve Darling, a Liberal Democrat, accused the Conservative opposition of being reckless.

He said the Tory Government had been shifting the burden of paying for services onto local tax payers for many years and it was 'shameful' it had failed to introduce national reforms to social care.

The council leader said next year’s budget made sure the most vulnerable in Torbay would be protected with a £300,000 fund to support those worst affected by the pandemic and a £1.6million Covid reserve.

Liberal Democrat Swithin Long said the Tories were complaining about the 1.99 per cent rise in Torbay, but had ignored an increase of more than six per cent from the Conservative elected police and crime commissioner.

The council’s deputy leader Darren Cowell, an Independent, pointed out the council had a legal duty to set the tax.

Discounts are available to people living on their own, on low incomes or claiming benefits.