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Council sets balanced budget and looks forward to the year ahead in Exeter

Published: 21 February 2024

Council Leader Phil Bialyk

Councillors have set a balanced budget for the next financial year – with the average increase for City Council services of just 10p per week.

Exeter’s element of the council tax bill for an average Band D property is £180.37. That’s an increase of £5.24 - around 10p a week for the services it provides for residents in the city.

Council Leader Phil Bialyk said the Council’s finances remain tight – it has only been able to raise council tax by six per cent over the last two years, compared to inflation of over 16 per cent in the same period. That impacts on the Council's ability to run services.

One of the proposed increases in charges was for allotment holders. Cllr Bialyk said he hoped to limit any increases and announced they would be spread over two years to lessen the impact.

He said: “Understandably, people have been concerned about the level of allotment increases. The service has been running at a lost and we are in the process of talking directly to allotment holders about how to address this.

“I have agreed to extend the period of consultation by three weeks. As a result of the excellent responses we have received, we may well be able to mitigate some of the increase.

“We have listened, and if we do have to increase fees, any increase will be split over two years to assist allotment holders.”

Cllr Bialyk said the standard monthly membership fee for around 11,000 Exeter Leisure members would be frozen at £29.80.  

The budget speech highlighted how the city centre has been made safer with investment in the modernisation of the CCTV operation, including 180 new high-definition cameras installed in 80 locations.

The speech highlighted the success of our award-winning Passivhaus leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point, which recently celebrated its two millionth visit just 18 months after opening.

It also revealed that 700 Council properties have now been retrofitted to make them energy efficient, lowering bills as well as carbon emissions. More than 200 more are planned over the next year.

The budget speech also highlighted support provided to residents through the cost of living crisis, the continuing roll out of food waste collections, the work to create a wildlife haven at Northbrook Park and the continued success of cultural venues in the city.

Cllr Bialyk added: “I hope that people are able to find some time to have a look at the budget speech because it highlights a lot of the good things happening in Exeter.  We are doing everything we can to make sure Exeter continues to be a great city.”

Read the Budget 2024-2025 speech at

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