Councils 64% budget increase - You must be joking?

The article below shows that Dartmouth Town Council have decided to increase the precept (the amount passed on to Dartmouth from council tax by SHDC) by 64%. This will allow the transfer of assets from SHDC to DTC?

Avenue Gardens

Hang on a minute, is anyone listening to this? Please can the Town Council tell me why the transfer of assets we already pay SHDC to maintain in our rates is now going to cost us £40 per annum more (see Chronicle article below) when the Town Council take them on. I don’t care who owns the assets because I am already paying for them anyway. If it costs more for DTC to maintain these assets then this is clearly the wrong decision. I am not prepared to pay more rates for no benefit at all. The Council has already demonstrated its incompetence in managing assets with the £350,000 required to refurbish the Guildhall. The market square project with an original budget of £290,000 ended up costing over £1m pounds. Do you not understand that central government and County councils are being expedient in reducing costs. SHDC must have laughed up their sleeves when they persuaded you to think about taking on assets that they are already resourced to maintain, and you are not. Do you not remember that 2 or 3 years ago the damage done to Coronation park by the regatta was reputed to cost £17000 to repair!

In the opinion of Dartmouth Business News this is such a big mistake that we believe the community must be consulted before a decision is taken. I for one do not have confidence in the Councils ability to implement this decision or to manage these assets successfully.

So lets have a referendum.

at least ask the community what they think.

PS I suppose the upside could that it would allow you to put car parking on Coronation Park to earn more revenue for the Town Council!! That would be well received I’m sure.

Council agrees 64% budget increase

By Karen Perrow in Other News

A BUDGET for future benefits has been set by Dartmouth Town Council.

A special meeting on Thursday approved a precept of £295,618 for 2017/18 – a 64 per cent hike on last year representing an increase of £40.89 per annum for a band D property to £107.76.

The rise will enable the town council to press ahead with the transfer of assets from South Hams Council.

Mayor Cllr Rob Lyon said: ‘Now is the time to invest more for the long-term benefit of the town.

‘Both Devon County Council and South Hams Council are cutting back and If we want the town to be successful and look good and for people to have a good quality of life then we must take up the slack.’

Cllr Richard Rendle said it was ‘crazy’ to consider a 64 per cent increase, claiming the figures were ‘shallow’.

He expressed concerns over the lack of council reserves and questioned what due diligence had been undertaken in the assets takeover.

Devolution could be achieved but would take a number of years, he maintained.

But chairman of finance Cllr Tony Fyson said he was confident it was a sound budget and the council approved it by eight votes to six.

A full report of the meeting will appear in next week’s Chronicle.

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