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Helston taxpayers face council tax rise
12:00pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
Taxpayers of Helston are facing a two-figure rise in their council tax bill this year, as the town is forced to take on extra responsibility from Cornwall Council.
CCTV, public toilets and children's play equipment will all have to be covered by the town council now, as the unitary authority offloads more and more to help balance its own struggling budgets.
It means that Helston Town Council is now in charge of three public toilets - including the insurance, electric and water, cleaning and maintenance of them, plus rates it must pay Cornwall Council - as well as three extra play areas to add to the two it already owns.
The budget for these includes the grounds, maintenance, insurance, inspections and repairs, together with a further £10,000 to create a long-term fund for replacing equipment.
The budget for the forthcoming 2014/2015 financial year reflects these additions, with members setting the council precept (the portion of the council tax bill the town gets) on Monday as £269,650.
This will mean a rise of £21.25 per year for a band D house, which works out as 41p per week.
The council is facing further financial challenges this year as the council tax support grant from Cornwall Council - given to help ease the effect of budget rises on the taxpayer - has been reduced by £3,320, while interest on investments has reduced income by £10,000 as the banks no longer offer safe investments in the form of bonds.
However, there was some good news, as due to the council agreeing to hire a van using its existing devolved services budget, the proposed £15,000 to buy a van, £1,000 mileage figure and £500 existing van hire budgets were all removed from the draft.
Describing it as a “robust budget,” mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby said: “I believe it's reflective of the additional responsibilities of this council.”
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