A SURVEY by Teignbridge council has revealed a significant number of residents want their council tax spent on housing, jobs and tackling climate change.
More than 1,000 people responded to the authoriy’s questionnaire which showed that more than two-thirds supported this year’s plan to increase council tax by 2.99 per cent (the equivalent of £5.54 per year for a Band D property) to help maintain essential services.
But in future, more than thre quarters of respondents thought the best way to balance the budget was for the council to generate more income, with 35 per cent preferring more budget savings and 23 per cent council tax increases.
A Teignbridge spokesperson said: ‘Ahead of finalising the budget for the next financial year councillors will see that 74 per cent of respondents agreed that we should work with others to support climate change initiatives; 69 per cent thought we should continue to support housing as a priority; and 78 per cent supported strengthening the economy and boosting jobs through improving town centres.’
Improving transport links received strong support (79 per cent) as did attracting new businesses into the District (87 per cent) and investing in schemes that promote better health and wellbeing through leisure and recreational spaces (75 per cent).
The proposal to refund £5.54 as a one-off cost of living payment for all those eligible to pay council tax on their main home attracted 42 per cent support with 37 per cent opposing the idea and 21 per cent neither for or against the proposal.
Executive Member for Corporate Resources Cllr Richard Keeling thanked everyone who responded to the survey.
He said: ‘We really appreciate the feedback residents have provided and are delighted to see such strong support on issues such as tackling climate change and housing.
‘This survey provides lots of useful information which will be considered by members ahead of the budget meeting on February 21.’
Questions were also asked in the survey to gauge people’s views on the way the council was performing and 48 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with the way the council was run compared to 21 per cent who were not.
Waste and recycling and street cleansing services were given a thumbs up with 76 per cent and 46 per cent respectively satisfied compared with 15 per cent and 29 per cent who were not. Some 80 per cent were satisfied that Teignbridge was a good place to live with a similar percentage believing they were kept informed by the council.
Asked who they trusted most to make decision about services, almost 60 per cent of respondents backed the council compared with three per cent who opted for the government with 33 per cent not trusting either.
Councillors were also substantially trusted more than MPs or Government Ministers to make service decisions.
Cllr Keeling added: ‘These are positive figures which are better than what people told us last year.
‘We must as a local authority continue to improve the way we operate and engage with residents so we increase satisfaction and reduce the number who do not trust the council.’