Torridge freezes council tax

Residents of Torridge will not be seeing an increase in council tax for the next financial year

COUNCIL tax in Torridge will be frozen for the next financial year after a lively debate at a special full council meeting.

Despite a motion put forward to raise council tax, the majority of councillors agreed to accept the Government’s council tax freeze grant.

Councillor Tony Inch, the vice-chairman, said: “This area is getting poorer and poorer. It is like a dripping tap and the bucket that it is dripping into is almost full.

“It is the poor who are paying for this recession, and I propose we take this government grant.”

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Some councillors felt that the council tax should be raised, to provide more money to put towards areas such as job creation.

Councillor Geoff Lee said: “If you ask people if they are prepared to put 7p a week to help boost this area, I don’t think many would say no.”

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But Councillor Barry Parsons, leader of the council, argued: “People just don’t have the money to keep loading more and more on top of what they are already paying out.

“I don’t agree with giving people extra costs at all; it is causing a great amount of pain and we need to stop this.”

The meeting also resolved that job creation would be a top priority for the forthcoming year, with Torridge residents receiving on average a wage more than �6,000 less a year than the national average.

For every �1 of council tax collected, the council receives 9p to run services such as refuse and recycling, benefits and planning.

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