Ilfracombe could vote against tax rise

Town council warned a big increase in council tax could trigger a referendum.

ILFRACOMBE Town Council has been warned it might have to face a referendum if it puts council tax up too much this year.

In a letter to the Mayor, read at Monday’s full council meeting, Mike Creek of Ilfracombe Trades Council warned the council that any large increase would trigger an application for a public vote.

He was referring to an announcement by communities secretary, Eric Pickles, that any local authority planning to increase tax by 3.5 per cent or more will be required to hold a local referendum.

In his letter, Mr Creek said he felt last year’s rise of more than 20 per cent was an “excessive increase.”


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The council justified the amount – equating to around a �10 rise for a Band D property – and the 2010 increase of 32.34 per cent, because it said it wished to take the town’s destiny into its own hands rather than relying on others.

In his letter Mr Creek said the Trades Council would be applying to the Government for a vote should the council go that way again: “2011 was a very difficult year, financially, for our members and their families with considerable increases in food products, energy and fuel prices as well as other major costs. As a result, the standard of living of all but the very rich dropped dramatically.”

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The council will meet on Monday, January 23 to set the precept for 2012/13 and the Mayor, Councillor Rod Donovan, said the issue would be taken into account whilst making their decision.

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