Sunday, 15 February 2009

Teignbridge Council Tax

More good news for residents in Teignbridge, which already has the second lowest level of council tax of any district in Devon, is that the ruling Liberal Democrat and Independent administration have cut back on the proposed 3.9% rise in Council Tax from April to 3.5%. The national Local Government Association says this is likely to be the average rate across the country.
Under the old regime Council Tax bills in Teignbridge more than doubled; increasing by 127% in ten years under the Conservatives according to the Herald Express. Since taking over in 2003 the Liberal Democrats have taken Teignbridge from one of the highest charging councils in Devon to the second lowest. With good financial management, this has been achieved without cuts to the services people rely on.

Teignbridge has frozen all car park and leisure charges from April, and introduced free parking on Sunday afternoons to encourage more people to visit, shop or go for lunch in Teignbridge.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Lowest Rise in Council Tax

Devon County Council's Executive has proposed a new budget for stability and for the local economy, and with it the lowest increase in Council Tax in this Council's history. At a 2.89%, this year's increase by the County Council is the lowest rise in Council Tax since the County Council started operating in April 1998. That increase would see the County Council's share of the Council Tax representing £1,094.67 for Band D properties.
The local economy is a high priority with the County Council targeting an additional £5.75 million for economic regeneration plus, keeping the large capital programme in schools and roads intact.
The Executive Committee will recommend the proposed budget to the Council's Full Council when it meets on the 19th February. The increase is markedly below the government's effective capping limit of 5% and the April increase for state pensions (5.0%) and state benefits (6.3%).
Meanwhile Dorset County Council has announced an increase of 3.5%, Torbay Council (Unitary) is to increase council tax by 3.9%.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Shaldon Botanical Gardens

I'm very pleased to have helped the Friends of Shaldon Botanical Gardens (FSBG) win a 10,000 grant from Investing in Devon.
The volunteer group will use the grant with other funding to transform the gardens to their former glory. I submitted the grant bid to the Investing in Devon committee, and will continue to help where I can.
The Botanical Gardens are a tranquil and unique place. Sadly over the years some of the finer plant species have gone and many of the features are in need of refurbishment. I know the Friends work very hard for the Gardens so I hope this grant will help the Friends restore the Gardens to their original glory, for all to enjoy.
The Homeyards Botanical Gardens are situated on a sloping hillside above Shaldon and enjoy stunning views of Teignmouth and the east Devon and Dorset coastline. The Gardens boast an eclectic mix of delights, such as the castle folly, pond and rill garden, and the Italianate Garden, making the Gardens an interesting place to explore. The Gardens were created by Maria 'Laetitia' Kempe Homeyard in the late 1920's and early 1930's, and were built by Thomas Rider of Southwark. They were constructed on the steeply sloping patchwork of fields above Shaldon . Mrs Homeyard was the widow of William Newcombe Homeyard, the inventor and manufacturer of Liquafruta cough syrup - you can still buy it.
The long established Friends are always looking for keen volunteers to help them in their efforts to raise the profile of the Gardens and help out with voluntary work days. If you think you can help or would like to join them please contact the Green Spaces team who will put you in touch with them. E-mail or call the Green Spaces Development Officer on 01626 215885.