Council is proposing a raft of measures to balance the budget this year including a 1.99 per cent increase in its share of council tax

North Devon Council is proposing ‘with heavy heart’ to increase its share of the council tax this year by 1.99 per cent.

The executive committee will hear a range of proposals on Tuesday in order for the council to meet a £750,000 shortfall this year after a drop in Government funding.

The council says the increase in tax will only raise another £105,000 and is also proposing to cut grants to the majority of local organisations by 15 per cent.

Council Leader Cllr Des Brailey said: “We are going to have to make some really tough decisions this year and it’s with a heavy heart that we look to increase council tax and other charges and reduce funding to really worthwhile local organisations.

“The government has delivered a terrible blow and we will continue the fight until we get a fairer deal for rural funding.”

The increase equates to £3.28 more for a Band D property, taking it up to £167.86.

The council will cut councillors’ community grants by 25 per cent.

It will also review its fees and charges, some of which it says have not increased for six years.

Council tax has not been increased since 2010.

A review is planned for the council’s waste and recycling services too.

It warns the future continues to look bleak with a further 30 per cent cut in funding over the next three years.

Budget plans are in place to cope with this, but they can’t plan ahead for uncertainties such as the Government grant, demand for services and welfare reform.

If executive approves the budget, a final decision will be made by full council on February 24.