Devon

South Hams approves 3.5% council tax rise

A Devon district council has voted to raise council tax by 3.5%.

The South Hams authority said the increase was to deal with a forecast budget shortfall of about £479,000 and to protect front line services.

Band D homes currently pay about £1,500 a year. The council said the rise would amount to £4.83 for such properties.

Conservative council leader John Tucker said: "We believe that people would rather have services protected for what works out at about an extra 9p a week."

Normally councils have to hold a referendum if they want to put bills up by more than 2%.

South Hams did not require such a vote because government rules only require one if an increase is planned which is more than 2% but would result in a rise of more than £5.

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