How is my Council Tax Spent?

We collect your council tax on behalf of Devon County Council*, ourselves (South Hams District Council), Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority and Town and Parish Councils.

This year for an average band D property your council tax will be £2,372.19 and it is divided up like this:

Authority Percentage Share
Devon County Council 62%
Devon County Council*
(Precept to fund adult social care)
South Hams District Council 8%
Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner 12%
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority 4%
Town and Parish Council 4%
Total 100%

*see statement concerning adult social care funding below.

This short video shows how your Council Tax is spent by us and by the other organisations who receive it. You can click on the video to open a larger version in a new browser window.

Changes in spending

South Hams District Council plans to spend £49.5million (gross) on providing services for 2024/25. A total of £41.8million of this amount comes from the income we receive from grants, fees and charges. Therefore, the amount of council tax we need to collect is £7.7million. The Council’s net budget has increased from £11.74 million (23/24) to £13.13 million (24/25).

The Council, along with other local authorities, has faced unprecedented reductions in Government funding. Between 2009/10 and 2020/21, the Council’s Core Government funding has reduced by £4 million. The Council now receives minimal Revenue Support Grant (main Government Grant) of £147,100.

This year, the Council has increased council tax by £5.54 (2.99%) from £185.42 in 2023/24. This means that the cost of South Hams services for an average band D property will be £190.96 for 2024/25 (out of a total council tax bill for a band D property of £2,372.19). 

The 2024/25 revenue budget sets out proposals for the Council to achieve a balanced budget for 2024/25 whilst focusing on continuing to deliver core services across the district.

£3.682 million has been set aside for a Capital Works Programme for a range of capital projects. This funding includes private sector renewals for eligible residents’ homes, including Disabled Facility Grants (DFGs) which range from stair lifts, to level access showers to support independent living within the home. In addition, money has been earmarked to deliver a new temporary accommodation unit (Kingsbridge), as well as a plan to retrofit 55 properties to make them more energy efficient with lower emissions.

A previously agreed annual contribution, towards a Waste fleet replacement programme is included within this Capital Programme.

Strong financial management over many years and the continual drive for efficiency has enabled the Council to accommodate service pressures while still maintaining a low level of council tax. The Council has continued to work in partnership with West Devon Borough Council which has allowed South Hams to achieve annual savings of £3.9 million and more importantly protect front line services.

The Council has taken a hard look at where it can save money to keep balancing the books.

The budget agreed will leave the Council on a stable financial footing and will help the Council manage the uncertainty of the future reforms of Local Government finances, which are increasingly stretched.

Through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, South Hams District Council will ensure that those in financial hardship are able to pay less Council Tax, and receive the full range of support services.

Spending plans for 2024/25

This year, our spending plans can be summarised as follows:

Service Area 2024/25 2023/24
Customer Service and Delivery
(frontline services such as Waste and Recycling and Revenues and Benefits)
30,690 27,523
Strategy and Governance
(Planning, Elections, Legal and Corporate Services)
6,124 4,745 
Place and Enterprise
(Car Parking, Dartmouth Lower Ferry, Salcombe Harbour, Housing and Environmental Health)
11,044 9,726
Strategic Finance
(Including Strategic Financial Planning)
2,147 2,172
Contributions from Reserves
(to fund one-off items of expense)
(489) 150
Total 49,516 44,316

More information

The download below shows the Council Tax charges by band and by parish.


If a Town or Parish Council charges over £140k for their precept, they have a statutory duty to publish their spending details. The details can be downloaded below.


Statement concerning adult social care funding

The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities ('Adult social care authorities' are local authorities which have functions under Part 1of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional 'precept 'on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016/17.  It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.