Response to the pandemic praised by Leader as city sets new annual budget
Published: 24 February 2021
The way in which the city responded to the Coronavirus crisis has been praised by the Leader of the Council as the authority set its annual budget.
Cllr Phil Bialyk said the ongoing financial strain caused by the pandemic meant the Council had to set a challenging budget in order to balance the books.
But he said Exeter was well placed to recover strongly, and the city had much to look forward to in the year ahead.
He said: “Looking back over the last year I am extremely proud of the way we responded to the crisis.
“Residents, communities and organisations across Exeter came together throughout the restrictions and lockdowns to look after and support each other during the most difficult times.”
He said thousands of residents had been helped through the Council’s dedicated support hub Exeter Community Wellbeing, and more than £34 million had been paid out by the Council in government business support grants.
The Council was able to maintain every single waste collection round, street sweeping round, grounds maintenance work and burial service during the pandemic.
Cllr Bialyk said this summer would see the opening of a brand new low-energy leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point, the reopening of the Riverside pool after a huge rebuilding programme and the opening of a brand new Exeter bus station.
He said taking the running of the city’s Leisure service in-house would help Exeter’s ambition of becoming the healthiest and most active location in the country.
And the Leader said an expansion of Exeter’s council house building programme to create new low-energy, Passivhaus homes would be stepped up to help lift residents out of fuel poverty, while maintaining Exeter’s ambition of becoming a Net Zero Carbon City by 2030.
Cllr Bialyk added: “The measures we have taken, in investing so heavily in our city centre, in our leisure services, by insisting on quality in whatever we do, through working with our partners across the city to produce a roadmap to recovery for the whole of Exeter, we have put ourselves in the best possible position to return to the good times.
“By setting a balanced budget we are protecting our core services, the things that people expect from us, while maintaining our ambition for the city - a healthy and inclusive city, with a roadmap to a Net Zero Carbon future, a place where people want to live, to work and to visit, a city of community and of quality of life.”
The City Council’s share of the new council tax bill will be £165.05 for a Band D property. That’s an increase of £5 a year - less than 10p a week.
By comparison the County precept will rise by £71.82 or £1.38 a week, the Police by £14.92 a year or 29p a week and the Fire by £1.76 or 3p a week.
A Band D Council Tax in Exeter will be split as follows:
- Exeter City Council: £165.05
- Devon County Council: £1,511.28
- Devon & Cornwall Police: £236.56
- Devon & Somerset Fire: £90.00
- Making a total bill of: £2,002.89
To read the Budget Speech in full visit our website: https://exeter.gov.uk/media/5455/budget-speech-2021.pdf