Torbay mayor to propose freeze on council tax
Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver will be proposing a council tax freeze as part of his budget proposals at the full council meeting next week.
The council had previously been looking at a 2% rise.
The proposal comes in a week that Local Government secretary Eric Pickles said councils who raised tax without the support of their residents were "cheating".
Nationally, only about a third of councils have said they are freezing tax, including Teignbridge, but South Hams is proposing a 3.5% rise.
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Mayor Oliver said: "We are not underestimating the challenge we face in setting the budget this year or in following years.
"However, we are also not underestimating how difficult it will also be for Torbay residents to balance their own household budgets.
"If we freeze council tax we will receive a grant from the Government of £0.6 million.
"In these continuing times of austerity, I have decided to propose accepting this offer and therefore lessening the burden on taxpayers."
He added: "There are certainly no easy answers in proposing this budget but I hope the decision to freeze council tax will bring a little cheer to residents in these very difficult times."
The mayor will make his final budget proposals at the council meeting on Wednesday, February 6.
This will adjourn until February 13 for members to consider the proposals.
If an objection or amendment is approved by a majority of members, the council will adjourn again until February 28 for the final decision.