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Joint Statement from South Hams District and Dartmouth Town Councils

27 January 2021

The official logos of Dartmouth Town Council and South Hams District Council

Following a very productive meeting on 26 January 2021, Dartmouth Town Council and South Hams District Council (SHDC) wish to jointly clarify the reasons for the increase in the Town Council's share of the council tax bill for 2021/22.

There was discussion about the increased amount and confusion regarding the information that SHDC distributed to Councils.

There was a genuine misunderstanding of the calculations and an honest mistake made by Dartmouth Town Council and both parties wish to clarify this.

Dartmouth Town Council originally stated that £57.94 of the council tax increase was due to a reduction in the Taxbase set by South Hams District Council. However, this is not the case as only £4.11 is attributable to changes in the Taxbase and other funding changes notified by South Hams District Council which over-inflated the precept request by Dartmouth Town Council.

Prior to this financial year, the previous Dartmouth Town Council had been annually using their reserves to partly fund their base budget and this position is no longer sustainable as the reserves are diminishing, and the new Council fully supports this approach.

Following our meeting today where discussions were held regarding the work Dartmouth Town Council wishes to do, and the actual figures pertaining to the raise in the Precept required due to the decrease from SHDC, Dartmouth Town Council now wishes to revise its precept and will confirm the new figures on the full council meeting of 1 February.

This revision will not alter any of the plans for this year which include improvements to the town and keeping the buildings owned by the Town Council in good repair. The improvements include installing CCTV in Townstal, providing defibrillators, a new ballroom floor in the Guildhall, renewal of the floor in Ivy Lane and repairs to Grade I Listed buildings at the rear of Butterwalk and external market walls. The Town Council also intends to modernise the Royal Avenue Gardens public toilets and whilst doing this, create an area suitable to let. The public toilets at Coronation Park will also be refurbished to include a shower and a kiosk to rent.

Both SHDC and DTC would like to thank all involved in these meetings and are grateful to be able to jointly clarify the situation and are grateful that our relationship between our councils allows us to jointly work for the benefit of our residents.

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