Council tax budgets are unlikely to be good news...

The region’s district councils have yet to set their budgets, but no one is expecting good news.

North Devon Council is facing a deficit of £781,000, but leader Des Brailey could not say if council tax would increase.

“We have got to look at several avenues this year,” he said.

“We have taken a 15 per cut in real terms from the Government and it is likely that most grants will be cut by 15 per cent. The cut will also be on councillors’ grants, subject to executive’s decision, but my group felt that 25 per cent was not unrealistic.”

Cllr Rodney Cann believes a rise is likely: “My own opinion is it’s almost unavoidable in North Devon because we have frozen our council tax for so long,” he said.

TDC leader Jane Whittaker said: “Councillors and officers are working on shaping the priorities in a new four-year strategic plan and on service plans with a focus on what customers really value and need.”