Residents ‘should not have to subsidise county council’

Fremington Parish Council has raised its share of the council tax by 15.86 per cent to 'maintain essential services'.

That is the equivalent of £36.55 per Band D property for the year, approximately £3.05 per month, an increase of 42p per month.

Chairman Sue Kingdom said the finance committee had looked at it in great detail but concluded there was no other choice.

"To maintain services we need to raise the precept," she said.

"Some councillors expressed their concern but accepted that we had no other choice. We are between a rock and a hard place."

These services include cutting the highway verges throughout the parish, beyond Devon County Council's maximum of four times a year.

At December's council meeting, four failed votes were held to try and set the precept at a lower figure. Cllr Rodney Cann, who led three of these, said he found it difficult to justify an increase of 15.86.

"A lot of it is to take over work the county should be doing and I don't see why local council tax payers should be subsidising the role of the county council."