Ilfracombe Town Council votes to increase council tax share by almost 10 per cent
ILFRACOMBE Town Council has voted to increase its share of council tax by 9.84 per cent.
However, at an extraordinary meeting to set the council tax precept on Monday night, members also voted that the budget itself should be reviewed.
Prior to the meeting Ilfracombe Trade Council members Mike Creek and Graham Parkhouse urged councillors not to increase the precept as residents were being "battered" by the tough economic climate.
Councillor Mike Edmunds said he would reluctantly move the proposed 9.84 per cent increase.
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He said: "However, I don't move the budget in its current state.
"We need to know how much the Neighbourhood Community Budget (NCB) scheme will cost us before we start allocating money."
The council voted in favour of the increase, subject to a review of the details, which is equivalent to around £5 a year for a Band D property.
Speaking after the meeting Bob Walker, a member of the Fire Brigade Union which is campaigning to save Ilfracombe Fire Station, described the increase as a kick in the teeth.
He said: "To think that they are allowed to increase their share of council tax by almost 10 per cent when the fire service has to have a referendum for an increase of more than 2 per cent is ridiculous, especially given that we are trying to save fire stations and, ultimately, lives."