A rise in Bideford’s council tax will go towards keeping the town looking good and community grants.

Bideford Town Council has voted to increase its share of the council tax by 7.5 per cent to £512,232.

That is an increase of 10p per week on a band B property and 13p per week on a band D.

The council said when setting the budget precept councillors were mindful of the current economic climate, but needed to continue to fund the extra services the council has provided in the past few years.

This includes the four-strong maintenance team, which has taken on jobs previously done by the county council or contracted out, such as grass cutting, verge trimming and maintaining the Pannier Market.

The council said it also provides hanging baskets, Christmas lights and last year gave £93,000 in grants to community groups.

Mayor Peter Christie said he believed the council provided good value for money: "No-one likes an increase but owing to the drastic cutting of financial support from the government to both the county and district councils the town council has decided to take on more of the work they have stopped doing."