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Your Guide 2009–10 YOUR COUNCIL SERVICES

WHERE THE MONEY GOES / BENEFITS AVAILABLE


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Your bill explained

WHO IS LIABLE TO PAY COUNCIL TAX?

COUNCIL TAX BANDING EXPLAINED See page 11

WHERE DOES MY COUNCIL TAX BILL GO?

9%

5% 3%

11%

72% Somerset County Council Avon & Somerset Police West Somerset Council

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority Parish / Town Charge

WHAT DOES MY COUNCIL TAX PAY FOR? See pages 4-9 for West Somerset Council pages 23 -27 for Somerset County Council pages 28 - 31 for Avon & Somerset Police pages 32 - 35 for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

PLEASE NOTE : THIS IS

DO I QUALIFY FOR A REDUCTION IN MY COUNCIL TAX? For further information about Disability Reductions, Discounts & Exemptions see pages 11-12

HOW CAN I CLAIM COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT? For further information see pages 20-22

USE OF INFORMATION BY THE COUNCIL West Somerset Council is the data controller for the The information you are required to provide unde er t Housing Benefit regulations is primarily used for tho need to use this information to fulfil other statutory believe are compatible with our original purposes sa the undertaking of certain Environmental Health an detection of fraud. The Council may also disclose et

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www.westsomerset.gov.uk


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Your bill explained

West Somerset District Council is the collecting authority on behalf of Somerset County Council, Avon & Somerset Police, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority & your local council. Only 9% of the total paid is actually received by West Somerset Council

WHERE IS MY ACCOUNT NUMBER?

HOW WELL DO MY DISTRICT & COUNTY AUTHORITIES PERFORM? See pages 4-9 for West Somerset Council pages 23-27 for Somerset County Council

BARCODE - You need to take your bill with this barcode when paying at the Post Office

HOW DO I MAKE A PAYMENT?

HIS IS AN EXAMPLE BILL

Preferred Method of Payment: Contact the Council to set up this payment method (If you are already paying via this method you need take no furthur action)

Other Methods of Payment: Log onto the Council’s website at www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk Call 01643 703704 for the automated 24/7 service or speak to a Customer Advisor Use the barcode on your bill to pay at any post office Cheques should be made payable to WEST SOMERSET DISTRICT COUNCIL with your ninedigit account number on the back.

for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. unde er the Council Tax, Non Domestic Rating & for those purposes. However on occasions we tutory and regulatory responsibilities that we oses s as already described above. Examples include alth and Housing functions and the prevention and close e this information to external organisations, but

At West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4QA (Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 5pm and Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm) and the Customer Centre, 1-3 Summerland Road, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5BP (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm) Problems Paying If you are having problems, please see Page 15 www.westsomerset.gov.uk

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Budget Strategy 2009/10

Budget Strategy Our aim as a District Council is to ensure that West Somerset Council tax payers receive the best possible value for money whilst continuing to improve local services. The following pages in this booklet describe what we have achieved in 2008/09 and what we hope to achieve in 2009/10. The next year is going to be a tough one for public services. We know that government funding will be tight. On the other hand, during a recession the demand for West Somerset’s services is likely to grow. We will do our best to maintain our current levels of service and meet that increase in demand. One of the ways we can meet this additional demand is by continually looking for more efficient ways to delivery our services. For example in 2008/09 we were able to make efficiency savings of over £320,000 from improvements including the centralisation of our administrative offices at Williton. This has enabled us to keep our council tax increase for 2009/10 to just 12p per week in real terms on the average bill. Whilst this represents an increase of 4.9% our total bill is still only £129 out of the total Council Tax bill. We will monitor our budget closely throughout the year and look to make savings where we can without affecting the quality of the delivery of our priority services. We will, however, seek to withdraw from non-priority services and dispose of assets where these are not needed. We will then reinvest freed up resources in better services for you. In these uncertain times we will also work towards building sufficient reserves to enable us to meet the risks we might face. Having listened to the views of the people of West Somerset the Council has identified the following priority areas for the delivery of service: ● ● ● ●

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Housing and wellbeing Providing community facilities for children and young people Developing the economy of the area and supporting enterprise Protecting and maintaining the environment

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How much of our capital and revenue budgets we intend to spend in each of these areas is shown below. Summary of spending 2009/10

Housing and well being Community Economic development Environment Corporate costs Gross Cost of Services

Revenue Capital spending spending £,000 £,000 15,481 700 771 1,689 296 25 3,098 174 2,109 595 21,755 3,183

Where The Money Comes From: Revenue Support Grant/ National Non Domestic Rates 3,277 Council Tax 1,889 Surplus on Council Tax Collection Fund 2 Use of Revenue Reserves 69 Housing/Council Tax Benefit Subsidy 13,210 Specific Grant Concessionary Fares 296 Other Fees and Charges 3,012 Grants Borrowing

678 2,505

Total Funding

3,183

21,755

N.B. The negative figures above respresent income/credits. We will continue to listen to you to endeavour to provide the services that you say that you need. We will also continue to look for opportunities to work with partner organisations in Somerset as we believe this will enable us to provide services more efficiently. For more information about how we plan to spend our money over the next three years please visit www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/budget09-10 or contact us (see the back page of this booklet). Cllr Keith Ross - Leader of Council Cllr Doug Ross - Finance Portfolio Holder


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We have 4 external priorities for the community of West Somerset, which are: Economic Development & Tourism – To promote and strengthen the local economy of West Somerset through imaginative use of available funding streams and opportunities for partnership working. Housing & Well-Being – To provide better access and availability of housing that fits the diverse needs of local people. Community (Leisure, Culture & Well-Being) – To improve the health and well being of local people through promoting a healthier lifestyle and improving access and availability of leisure facilities for the community. The Environment – To protect the natural environment of West Somerset and encourage local people to play their part in environmental sustainability and waste management and reducing Co2 emissions.

PROGRESS AGAINST THE PRIORITIES IN 2008 Economic Development & Tourism Development of the West Somerset Economic Strategy Economic development and regeneration specialists EKOS, have been supporting the District to draw up a new economic blue print for the area which would help inform the allocation of the £1.84m Working Neighbourhoods Fund. A substantial list of economic priorities and associated actions have been identified following wide consultation with the local community and business leaders. West Somerset Council are now tasked with working in partnership to deliver activity that will help to improve the economic prosperity of the area. Visitor Information and Interpretation Centre West Somerset Council secured over £200,000 of European Regional Development Funding for the development of a new Visitor Information and Interpretation Centre on Minehead seafront. The centre opened in July 2008 and our aim is to develop new and existing markets so that tourism is not only sustained, but a growth industry. www.westsomerset.gov.uk

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Corporatae priorities & principal objectives

Corporate priorities & principal objectives


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Corporatae priorities & principal objectives

green tourism, sustainable construction and agriculture ● Develop market towns into centres for sustainable accessible services ● Feasibility studies to improve transport ● Developing chains to make sure local demand is met by local supply

Business Workspace The Council has striven to provide workspace for local businesses across the district in recent years. The former Wrigleys factory in Williton was completed in early 2008 with the provision of 14 units of workspace. The Barle Enterprise Centre at Dulverton has now also been completed and provides for 12 units of workspace. Local Action for Rural Communities (LARC) West Somerset Council, in partnership with other public and private organisations, has won £2.25m funding through its Local Action for Communities (LARC) bid. The funding was won for the ‘Moving Towards A Local Carbon Economy’ strategy which promotes a range of initiatives that are designed to support and develop the economy of the whole area, and to make it sustainable and to reduce CO2 emissions where possible. It will work towards outcomes such as: ● Developing a local renewable energy programme ● Establish IT and creative business hubs ● Support and develop sustainable industries such as food and drink, 6

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The LARC funding, coupled with the council’s Working Neighbourhood Funding of £1.84m over three years feeding into certain aspects of LARC, is a fantastic opportunity to develop sustainable businesses that benefit our economy whilst mitigating the effects of climate change. Watchet Esplanade The enhancement of Watchet Esplanade was completed and officially opened in April 2008. West Somerset secured £138,380 of European Regional Development Funding and a grant of £51,250 from the Somerset Rural Renaissance Partnership to enhance Watchet Esplanade, on of Somerset’s best loved historic ports. A series of craft markets were launched in April 2008 and held at the Esplanade through the summer.


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We have been working with our partner Housing Associations to deliver affordable housing across the district. In the last 12 months the following affordable housing has been delivered: 5 properties at Stogursey 2 units to rent at Lambrook House, Minehead 1 property at Brompton Ralph 3 properties at Woollams Place, Watchet Alcombe The Council is working in partnership with Summerfield Homes to deliver 23 units of housing to rent and buy. Construction will be starting March 2009. Carhampton The Council purchased the Townsend Farm site from the Crown in August 2007 and are working in partnership with ECOS Trust to deliver affordable housing to rent and to buy. A successful public meeting was held in November 2008 to consult on a proposed scheme layout in preparation for the submission of a planning application. It is envisaged work will start on the site during 2009. Homefinder The new Homefinder Somerset Scheme went live in December 2008. This replaces the old points based system. Under Homefinder all of Somerset’s housing association and council house properties will be advertised through the scheme so that customers can choose which homes they would like to apply for.

Private Sector Housing Partnership West Somerset Council and Sedgemoor District Council are in a Partnership to deliver private sector housing. The Partnership is the grants, loans, enforcement and advice services. Within the first year, the Partnership have assisted 17 disabled people to adapt their home through Disabled Facilities Grants, and assisted 30 residents in improving their homes to the Decent Homes Standard through the provision of minor grants. In addition the Partnership has helped 5 vulnerable households with home improvements through our innovative low interest loans scheme with Wessex Home Improvement Loans and given advice to over 240 households on energy efficiency advice. We are continuing to work with landlords to keep them up to date on any legislative changes, and provide tenants with tenancy advice. Last year the Partnership launched the first joint Landlords Forum with over 80 landlords in attendance, and this year are about to lead on the launch of a new and enhanced Landlords Newsletter www.westsomerset.gov.uk

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Corporatae priorities & principal objectives

Housing & Well Being


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Corporatae priorities & principal objectives

between West Somerset, Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and Mendip.

also under re-development and will be completed in 2009.

Work streams for this year will include an incentivised Landlords Accreditation scheme, a Countywide exhibition for landlords being hosted by the Partnership, and an enhanced website for private sector housing which will include tips on maintaining your home.

Play Rangers – This innovative project is designed to help to improve play provision in West Somerset through the play ranger sessions of 3 sessions per week, for 3 years, which will increase the play opportunities available to children and young people.

Community (Leisure, Culture & Well-Being

Clowns The Council continues to support the CLOWNS Bus through funding. This is an essential mobile service which provides children and families living in rural areas.

Play Partnership & Play Strategy The West Somerset Play Partnership, led by West Somerset Council, is committed to improving the quality of life for children and young people in West Somerset. The Play Partnership will ensure the delivery of the commitments and actions as laid out in the Play Strategy. The production of the Play Strategy in 2007, produced an action plan for improvements in children’s play facilities and activities over a three year period. West Somerset Council secured Big Lottery and Play Builder funding of over £300k to develop play areas and mobile rural play facilities for local children over a three year period beginning April 2008. This funding will help deliver on three projects in the play strategy: Upgrading play areas – Three play areas will be upgraded in the district, the first being Belle View in Washford, which should be complete by March 31st 2009. Cross Farm Park at Alcombe is 8

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Minehead EYE West Somerset Council has pledged £250,000 to the scheme which helped win this funding. It is an excellent investment in much-needed youth facilities which will bring real benefits for younger people for many years to come. Minehead EYE has scooped £3.2m funding from the government’s my place programme. Minehead EYE, which will provide a world class facility for young people aged between 13 - 19, will include


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skate and BMX parks computer zone recording studio and DJ booth multimedia suite shop and cafe exhibition area with an art graffiti wall

West Somerset Council has pledged £250,000 to the scheme which helped win this funding. It is an excellent investment in much-needed youth facilities which will bring real benefits for younger people for many years to come.

change impacts. We will be actively working with the community, businesses and our partners including Forum 21, Exmoor National Park Authority, Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Somerset County Council to achieve the actions prioritised by people in West Somerset. To view the strategy, please visit: http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/t emplate3.asp?pid=1812

Environment The Climate Change Strategy underwent several months of consultation earlier this year and we would like to thank everyone who responded. The strategy has now been adopted by the Council and is due to be launched March 2009. There are four objectives in the action plan of the strategy which include: To reduce CO2 across West Somerset, Reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, Create Value across the Economy through integrating and developing low carbon technology and services within the District and Prepare the community to adapt to climate

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● ● ● ● ● ●

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Efficiency Information

Efficiency Information Efficiency is about spending better - making money go further and offering better value to council tax payers. The outcomes of our efficiency measurements are in the table below; West Somerset Council Measure

Outcome

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009

£324,400

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009 as % of 2007/08 Baseline Expenditure

2.7%

Impact of forecast efficiency savings by March 2009 for Band D

£22.00

Average impact of forecast savings by March 2009 for authorities of same type

£22.00

The main efficiencies identified for 2008/2009 were: ● Savings arising from the creation of the Somerset Waste Partnership (£50,000), ● Restructuring of the Authority’s workforce (£118,000),

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Council Tax valuation bands Each dwelling has been valued to one of eight bands based on the market value of the property as at 1 April 1991. Details of the Council Tax Bands are shown below: Valuation Band Band A Band B Band C Band D Band E Band F Band G Band H

1 April 1991 Property Value Range Up to £40,000 £40,000 to £52,000 £52,000 to £68,000 £68,000 to £88,000 £88,000 to £120,000 £120,000 to £160,000 £160,000 to £320,000 £320,000 or greater

Appeals against your Council Tax band You can appeal to the Valuation Office Agency against the banding of your property, but only in certain circumstances. To find out more information the local Valuation Office Agency (VOA) can be contacted at Quantock House, Paul Street, Taunton. TA1 3PB or telephone 01823 308200 (Website www.voa.gov.uk). If a band is challenged, the current bill remains payable until any appeal is settled. If your appeal is refused you have a further right of appeal to an independent Valuation Tribunal.

Appeals concerning discounts and exemptions If you have any query about a discount, exemption or reduction to which you feel you are entitled, you should contact the Revenues Team. If you are not satisfied with the outcome then you should put your case in writing to West Somerset Council and subsequently you have a further right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

Payment arrangements The statutory method of payment is by ten monthly instalments, payments being due on or before the payment date as shown on your bill. However, you may pay several instalments together, provided payment is made by the due date of the next payable instalment. Payments may be made as shown on the back of your bill.

Reductions for persons with disabilities If anyone in the dwelling needs a specially adapted room, or an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space to meet special needs arising from a disability, the council tax may, if you qualify, be reduced by one band. For, example, if you live in a band C property, you will be charged at a band B rate. Properties in band A are also eligible for a reduction. www.westsomerset.gov.uk

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Council Tax Information

Council Tax Information


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Council Tax Information

Discounts Where a dwelling has only one occupier over 18, a 25% discount will be granted. Some households with more adults may also receive discounts, as certain groups of people will be disregarded for Council Tax purposes. If all the adults in a dwelling are disregarded, a 50% discount will be granted. For the purpose of calculating how many people are resident in a dwelling the following people could be disregarded in certain circumstances:Students and Student Nurses, Apprentices and Youth Trainees, Young Persons where Child Benefit is paid, Persons who are Severely Mentally Impaired, Certain carers, Care Workers and Persons in Care, Persons in Detention, Members of Religious Communities, Foreign Service Personnel and Diplomats. We offer a Local Council Tax discount of 5% for furnished second homes (non main residence) that have no access to mains services (e.g. water, electricity) and no immediate access to the main highway. If a dwelling is furnished but unoccupied the Council Tax payer may be entitled to 10% discount. Further, if the occupation of such a dwelling is restricted by a planning condition preventing occupancy for a continuous period of at least 28 days the discount may be increased to 25%. A dwelling that is furnished and unoccupied as a result of job related employment may be subject to a 50% discount. A property that is unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 6 months will not qualify for a discount. If a discount is shown on your bill, but because of a change in the 12

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household you cease to be entitled to that discount, you must notify the Council without delay.

Exemptions Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. These include the following Occupied Properties:- Occupied only by students or persons under 18. Occupied as Diplomats’ Residences. Owned by the Ministry of Defence. Occupied only by persons who are severely mentally impaired who would otherwise be liable. Occupied by a person under the Visiting Forces Act who would otherwise be liable. Annexes occupied by dependant relatives and the following Unoccupied Properties:- Unfurnished and undergoing structural alteration or major repairs for up to 12 months. Owned by a charity for up to six months. Unfurnished for up to six months. Left empty by a person who has gone into prison, lives in a hospital, a nursing or residential care home, is receiving or providing care elsewhere, or is a student. Awaiting the grant of probate, and for up to six months after it is granted. Prohibited by law from being occupied. Kept for a minister of religion. Repossessed by a mortgagor or administered by a trustee in bankruptcy. Annexes with planning restrictions.

Apeals concerning discounts and exemptions If you have any query about a discount, exemption or reduction to which you feel you are entitled, you should contact the Revenues Team. If you are not satisfied with the outcome then you should put your case in writing to West Somerset Council and subsequently you have a further right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.


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2008/2009 £,000s

2009/10 £,000s

West Somerset Council Expenses General Expenses for Whole District Special - Parish & Town Council Precepts Somerset County Council Precept Avon & Somerset Police Authority Precept Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

1,793 669 14,574 2,249 972

1,889 693 15,036 2,360 1,013

TOTAL COUNCIL TAX REQUIREMENTS

20,257

20,991

2,669

2,760

17,588

18,231

20,257

20,991

Estimated to be Paid by: Central Government National Taxation - Council Tax Benefit Reimbursement Council’s Collection Fund Local Taxation - Council Tax Payers

HOW THE COUNCIL TAX HAS CHANGED

West Somerset Council Expenses General - For Whole District Special - Parish/Town Council Precepts Somerset County Council Precept Avon & Somerset Police Authority Precept Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority Council Tax - Band ‘D’ Property

2008/2009 £

2009/2010 £

Increase %

% of Total bill

123.00 45.91 999.90 154.32 66.58

129.03 47.35 1,027.30 161.26 69.18

4.90% 3.14% 2.74% 4.50% 3.91%

9% 3% 72% 11% 5%

1,389.71

1,434.12

3.20% 100%

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Council Tax Information

COUNCIL TAX REQUIREMENTS


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Parish Precepts

Parish Precept 2008-2009 (£) 2,750.00 800.00 5,000.00 5,100.00 10,000.00 750.00 4,600.00 5,800.00 26,136.00 12,500.00

4,515.00 1,150.00 2,500.00 3,500.00 3,000.00 2,000.00 2,200.00 1,600.00 305,260.00 550.00 1,750.00 7,000.00 36,321.00 1,200.00 4,500.00 3,200.00 11,710.00 5,000.00 1,200.00 113,390.00 2,200.00 70,150.00 2,750.00 5,000.00 1,750.00 2,300.00

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Parish Bicknoller Brompton Ralph Brompton Regis Brushford Carhampton Clatworthy Crowcombe Cutcombe Dulverton Dunster East Quantoxhead Elworthy Exford Exmoor Exton Holford Huish Champflower Kilve Luccombe Luxborough Minehead Monksilver Nettlecombe Oare Old Cleeve Porlock Sampford Brett Selworthy & Minehead Without Skilgate Stogumber Stogursey Stringston Timberscombe Treborough Upton Watchet West Quantoxhead Williton Winsford Withycombe Withypool & Hawkridge Wootton Courtenay

669,132.00

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Parish Charge For Precept Band D 2009-2010 Property (£) 3,000.00 1,500.00 5,000.00 7,725.00 10,000.00 800.00 4,600.00 5,700.00 27,181.00 15,500.00

14.39 15.60 22.14 31.13 26.25 20.03 19.36 33.53 40.18 31.65

4,740.00 1,050.00 2,700.00 3,500.00 3,000.00 3,500.00 2,300.00 1,600.00 320,523.00 550.00 2,000.00

23.35 14.73 27.31 24.24 24.77 17.51 29.75 17.25 70.39 8.55 22.10

7,000.00 38,381.00 1,200.00 4,500.00

9.76 52.39 8.44 18.31

3,000.00 15,510.00

9.44 30.86

5,000.00

26.24

1,200.00 115,290.00 2,200.00 60,502.00 3,250.00 5,500.00 1,750.00 2,300.00

14.61 92.07 12.87 62.32 19.75 43.57 13.66 13.95

693,052.00

Band D Total (£) 1,401.16 1,402.37 1,408.91 1,417.90 1,413.02 1,406.80 1,406.13 1,420.30 1,426.95 1,418.42 1,386.77 1,386.77 1,410.12 1,401.50 1,414.08 1,411.01 1,411.54 1,404.28 1,416.52 1,404.02 1,457.16 1,395.32 1,408.87 1,386.77 1,396.53 1,439.16 1,395.21 1,405.08 1,386.77 1,396.21 1,417.63 1,386.77 1,413.01 1,386.77 1,401.38 1,478.84 1,399.64 1,449.09 1,406.52 1,430.34 1,400.43 1,400.72


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Local Precepts

MINEHEAD TOWN COUNCIL NET EXPENDITURE AND INCOME 2009/2010

Administration and Town Hall Cemetery Grounds and Open spaces Tourist Information Centre Other Services Adjustment to Balances

2008/09 £,000s 69 28 167 48 2 (9)

2009/10 £,000s 78 34 180 15 3 11

305

321

CALCULATION OF COUNCIL TAX AMOUNTS The total of your Council Tax bill for 2009/10 can comprise 5 precepts. Those for Somerset County Council, Avon and Somerset Police Authority, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority and West Somerset Council are the same throughout the District. Details appear elsewhere in this booklet. To these the local precept is added, the amounts for each town or parish are shown on page 14. All calculations of Council Tax are made by reference to Band D properties on the Inland Revenue valuation list. The amount for properties in the other bands is calculated by applying the following factors to the Band D amount: Band A – 6/9 Band B – 7/9 Band C – 8/9 Band D – 9/9 Band E – 11/9 Band F – 13/9 Band G – 15/9 Band H – 18/9

Problems Paying your Bills? You CAN get help! The following agencies can help you with advice and information: West Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau 01643 704624 Somerset Direct (Over 65’s and Adults with Care needs) 0845 345 9133 Age Concern Somerset 01823 423496 West Somerset Council 01643 703704 Community Legal Service Direct 0845 345 4 345

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Non-Domestic Rates Information

Non-Domestic Rates Information Non-Domestic Rates, or Business Rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy nondomestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the rates are pooled by Central Government and redistributed to local authorities as part of the annual formula grant settlement. The money, together with revenue from Council Tax payers, the revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by your local authority and other local authorities in your area.

Rateable value Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each nondomestic property has a rateable value, which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of the Inland Revenue. It draws up and maintains a full list of all rateable values, available on their website at www.voa.gov.uk. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of this bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1st April 2005, this date was set as 1st April 2003.

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The valuation officer may alter the value if the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Further information about making appeals can be found on the VOA website or from your local valuation office at The Valuation Office, Quantock House, Paul Street, Taunton TA1 3PB. Telephone: 01823 308200.

National Non-Domestic rating multiplier The local authority works out the Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England, except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, according to formulae set by legislation. The multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of small business rate relief. In the year of a revaluation, the multipliers are set at a level which will keep the total amount raised in rates after the revaluation the same as before, plus inflation for that year. The current


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Transitional arrangements Property values normally change a good deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting increases in bills. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1st April 2005, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that relates to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Any transitional adjustments are shown on the front of this bill. Further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs may be obtained from West Somerset District Council or the website www.mybusinessrates.gov.uk.

Unoccupied property rating Business Rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in case of certain industrial properties. After this period, rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order. In most cases, the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the empty property rate. Full details can be obtained from the local authority. If the

unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of this bill.

Partly occupied property relief A ratepayer is liable for the full nondomestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority has the discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part. Full details can be obtained from the local authority. \

Small business rate relief This relief is only available to ratepayers who apply to their local authority and who occupy either– (a) one property, or (b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value of less than £2,200. The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must be under £15,000 outside London or £21,500 in London on every day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase. Ratepayers who satisfy these conditions will have the bill for their single or main property calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier rather than the ordinary non-domestic rating multiplier that is used to calculate the liability of other businesses. www.westsomerset.gov.uk

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Non-Domestic Rates Information

multipliers are shown on the front of this bill.


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Non-Domestic Rates Information

In addition, if the single or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value of up to £10,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 50% for a property with a rateable value of not more than £5,000. If an application for relief is granted, provided the ratepayer’s circumstances do not change, the application will not need to be renewed until the next revaluation of non-domestic premises, which happens every five years. Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by the ratepayer (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which must be notified are– (a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time of making their application for relief, and (b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief. Notification of these changes must be given to the local authority within 4 weeks of the day after the day the change happened. If this happens, there will be no interruption to the ratepayer’s entitlement to the relief. A notification that the ratepayer has taken up occupation of an additional property must be by way of a fresh application for relief; notice of an increase in rateable value must be given in writing. Full details on the eligibility criteria and on how to apply for this relief are available from the local authority. 18

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Charity and registered community amateur sports club relief Charities and Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the Charity or Club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a Registered Community Amateur Sports Club. The local authority has the discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from West Somerset Council.

Non-profit making organisation relief The local authority has the discretion to give relief to Non-Profit Making Organisations. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Hardship relief The local authority has the discretion to give relief in special circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

Schedule of Payments for Certain Backdated Liability Ratepayers who face certain backdated rates liability may be able to discharge that liability over up to 8 years by agreement with their billing authority. This may be possible if the backdated liability has arisen as a result of an alteration to a ratings list which: ● means a hereditament is shown on that list for the first time; ● has effect from a day that is at least 33 months prior to the date the alteration is made;


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To be eligible, ratepayers must have occupied one or more properties affected by the type of rating list adjustment above, within the billing authority area, between the effective date of the list alteration and the date it was actually made, for 33 months or more. Ratepayers are not eligible if they were previously liable for rates in respect of a property “preceding” the new property assessment (i.e. a property that forms a part of a new merged property or a part of a property that has been split into two or more new properties). With the agreement of their billing authority, eligible ratepayers will be able to discharge any outstanding liability that accrued between the effective date of the relevant list alteration and the date the alteration was made over a period of up to 8 years. Further details on the criteria and the process to obtain a schedule of payments are available from your local authority.

Rating advisers

Chartered Surveyors (RICS - website www.rics.org.uk) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV website www.irrv.org.uk) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.

Rate relief for businesses in rural areas Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to relief. The property must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £7,000, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £10,500. The property has to be occupied. An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 50% of the full charge whilst the local authority also has the discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. In addition, the local authority can give relief on certain other occupied property in a rural settlement where the rateable value is less than £14,000. Full details can be obtained from West Somerset Council.

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of www.westsomerset.gov.uk

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Non-Domestic Rates Information

● is made on or before 31st March 2010; and ● is not the result of a proposal by an interested person made under the Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (England) Regulations 2005.


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Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax Benefit ARE YOU: ● On a low income? ● Liable to pay Council Tax? If YES to both, you should claim Council Tax Benefit.

What is Council Tax benefit? Council Tax Benefit is help for anyone on a low income who pays Council Tax. You can claim if you are in full time work or get social security benefits, Tax Credits or Pension Credits. Local Councils work out Council Tax Benefit claims and must follow rules set out by Parliament.

Who can claim? If you have to pay Council Tax, you can claim Council Tax Benefit. You may: ● Have a partner or be a single person ● Be a pensioner ● Be employed or selfemployed ● Get other social security benefits, Tax Credits or Pension Credits.

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You cannot get Council Tax Benefit if you: ● Have more than £16,000 in capital or savings (unless you are a pensioner getting Guarantee Credit) ● Are a full time student (unless you are either under 19 years old, a pensioner, a lone parent, disabled, getting Income Support or incomebased Jobseeker’s Allowance or you have a partner who is not a student)

How do I claim? When you claim Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance, you will be given a form called HCTB1. Fill it in and return it to the Benefits Agency who will pass the form to us. If you claim Pensions Credits, the Pension Service will send you a HCTB1 form. Fill it in and return to the Council. If you don’t claim Income Support, JSA or Pension Credits, you can get a claim form from the local authority. Contact West Somerset Council on 01643 703704.


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Claim Council Tax Benefit as soon as you need help. We usually pay benefit from the Monday after we get your form. We cannot normally backdate claims. If you know your circumstances are going to change – for example, you know your income will reduce or you will be moving to a new home – you can claim up to 13 weeks before you need help.

What do I need to provide in support of my claim? You must give us original documents to prove the details you have entered on your claim form. We will need to see proof of your identity. The claim form has a checklist to help you give us all the information we need.

How do we work out Council Tax benefit? We compare the money you have coming in each week with the money the Government says you need to live on. The benefit claim form asks you all the questions we need to work out your claim.

Applicable amounts, personal allowances and premiums Parliament sets the minimum level of income you need each week to live on for working out Council Tax Benefit.

This is called the Applicable Amount. Your applicable amount is made up of personal allowances and premiums. Personal allowances depend on your age, if you have a partner and the number of children you have. Premiums recognise some people have special or extra needs, such as families, people with disabilities and carers. We add the personal allowances and premiums together to give the amount of money the Government considers you need to live on each week. We cannot alter them.

How much money have you coming in? You may have earnings or unearned income, such as social security benefits, Tax Credits, Pension Credits or an occupational pension. We ignore some income, such as Disability Living Allowance or War Pensions, but you must still tell us about them when you claim.

Savings If you or your partner have combined savings of more than £16,000, you cannot get Council Tax Benefit (unless you are a pensioner getting Guarantee Credit). If you and your partner are both under 60 and have savings of £6,000 or less, we will ignore them. If you have more than £6,000 we will add £1 to your

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Council Tax Benefit

When should I claim?


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Council Tax Benefit

weekly income for every £250 or part of £250 savings you have over £6,000. If you or your partner are over 60, we will ignore combined savings of less than £6,000. If you have more than £6,000 we will add £1 to your weekly income for every £500 or part of £500 savings you have over £6,000. We will ignore any interest you get from your savings. If you have any dependant children who have savings of more than £3,000, you will not get an allowance for them in your applicable amount. We ignore children’s savings of less than £3,000.

Other adults who live with you If you have other adults living in your home, we may have to make a fixed deduction from your Council Tax Benefit. If you would like more information please contact West Somerset Council.

Performance of the Benefits Service

New Claims Changes to existing claims

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If you get Council Tax Benefit, you must tell us immediately about any changes in your circumstances. You must report changes to us in writing. If you don’t tell us straight away, you may get more benefit than you should. If this happens, we normally ask you to pay it back. If you do not tell us within one month about a change which would mean you get more Council Tax Benefit, we will only change your claim from the Monday after the date you tell us.

Second adult rebate If you do not get benefit in your own right, you could get Second Adult Rebate. If the person who shares your home is: ● Aged 18 or over ● Not paying you rent ● Not your spouse or partner ● Not paying Council Tax themselves and ● On a low income ● Some students You may be able to get a rebate.

Number of Days 2007/08 2006/07 33 65 13

Changes in circumstance

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Visiting Officer West Somerset Council provide a home visiting service – please contact us for further details.


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Somerset County Council

Introduction from your Council Leader Jill Shortland ★★★★ It’s a tough time for Somerset people and the Somerset economy. At Somerset County Council we’ve recognised that with our lowest ever Council Tax increase. We know that residents and businesses are feeling the pinch in these hard economic times. We understand that our services have to be really first rate as more people come to us for help, advice and support. That’s why we’ve made as many savings as possible and set a record low Council Tax increase of 2.74% for the coming year. And the news gets better. For the next two financial years (2010 and 2011), we want to set increases in Council Tax of just 2.5%. So, how have we done this? We have joined up with Taunton Deane Borough Council, Avon & Somerset Police, and IBM to create a company called Southwest One. They’re helping us to save money so we can reinvest in better services and pass savings onto you through low Council Tax rates. We’re a hard-working and efficient Council. If fact, we’re one of only a handful of county councils in the country rated as “Four Stars out of Four” and “Improving Strongly” by our watchdog, the Audit Commission. The Audit

Commission has also awarded us top marks for achieving good “Value For Money”. But we’ll continue to look hard at everything we do. It’s easy for people to forget just how much the County Council provides for them on their behalf. We maintain the roads we all drive on and the streetlights that light them. We run the libraries we borrow books and DVDs from and the museums in Somerset that people visit. We invest hundreds of millions of pounds in schools so our children get the best start in life. We support vulnerable people and carers that look after them. We also run the recycling centres. In fact, we provide more than 800 different services for the people of Somerset. We are proud to do so and will continue to invest your Council Tax money wisely in supporting local businesses, maintaining our county’s rich heritage and striving to be a Council that does the best by you, the taxpayers of Somerset. Jill Shortland Leader Somerset County Council

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Somerset County Council

Providing for life Your Council Tax is used to deliver a wide range of public services that benefit you, your family and your community. For a full list of the services we provide and how to contact us see our A-Z guide, at www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/atoz or request a copy on 0845 345 9166.

● Reduce the impact of climate change: Last year we completed over 20 sustainable energy projects, including the provision of insulation and solar panels at 6 schools. We are planning over 30 more during 2009.

In 2009/10 we will continue to deliver high quality services at a low cost to ensure that Somerset is a great place to live, work and visit. Amongst other things your money will: ● Get you involved: We encourage local people to be involved and influence the decisions that affect them, for example over 3,000 people from local communities contributed ideas to inform and shape plans for our new Museum of Somerset. ● Support communities: We promote positive interaction in local communities. In 2008 our Gypsy and Traveller team won the Chartered Institute of Housing award for ‘Creating Integrated Communities’. ● Promote volunteering: We promote volunteering across the county to encourage local people to care for and influence their local area. In 2007/08 academic year we launched an interactive website for children and young people, called AWSOM, which promotes and provides information on a range of activities and volunteering opportunities.

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● Reduce waste and increase recycling: Somerset has the highest recycling rate in the country, with 50.9% of the county’s household waste being recycled. ● Support local businesses: In response to the downturn in the economy, we are working hard with partners to keep people in their jobs and in their homes. We are developing support for local businesses, people facing unemployment and families in difficulties. We will also continue to help businesses modernise their technology. The ‘Connecting Somerset’ scheme helped businesses adopt IT through grants, advice and training and has made Somerset the best Internet connected county in the country. ● Help people get back to work: We have helped 100 disadvantaged and long term unemployed people get back into work. Our Local


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● Support the farming community: We provide advice and guidance on a wide range of animal welfare issues to farmers. Our Animal Health & Welfare team won the 2008 RSPCA Award for ‘Innovator in Animal Welfare’ in recognition of our Free Advice Clinics.

● Provide enjoyment and achievement: Educating 70,000 children in 283 schools we continue to raise the educational achievements of children and young people. We also provide numeracy, literacy and language skills training and apprenticeships to young people and adults. Our Taunton and Mendip Pupil Referral Unit’s received an ‘Outstanding’ report from Ofsted in 2008, describing the success as “Breathtaking… outstandingly

effective in transforming the lives of its students…..excellent provision brings about extraordinary academic and personal achievement with students.” ● Reduce anti-social behaviour: We are working hard to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth offending in Somerset. More than 12,000 young people aged 13 to 19 are involved in the work of our Youth Services. It provides young people with fun activities to help them learn new skills, build confidence and spend their leisure time in a safe environment engaged in positive activities. ● Tackle under age drinking: As a partner in ‘Somerset Tackling Alcohol Related Crime’ we minimise residents’ fears of alcohol-related crime and disorder. Test purchases carried out since April 2008 have shown 77 per cent of pubs and clubs refusing to sell alcohol to under 18s. An improvement of over 59 per cent on 2007. ● Keep our roads safe: We will continue to keep our roads safe through the Somerset Road Safety Partnership. Our ‘Red Route’ scheme highlights where drivers are at most risk of a collision. In the last year people killed on the road fell to their lowest level for thirty years.

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Employment Partnership provides people with valuable work placements and pre-recruitment workshops. One attendee to the workshop said: “I met other people in the same situation, which boosted my self confidence. The workshop helped me to make the best of myself and my experience when I apply for jobs and go for job interviews.”


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Somerset County Council

● Protect children: Our Children’s Social Care services continue to be rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted. We will continue to work hard to protect vulnerable children and young people. ● Support older people: In 2008 we helped 8,000 elderly people to continue to live independent lives in their own homes. Our Adult Social Care services are amongst the best in the country. It maintains a 3 star ‘Excellent’ rating, the highest possible from the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

This is only a snap shot of the many things we will continue to do with your Council Tax. For a more detailed account of our achievements and plans for the future, please see our Annual Plan at http://www.somerset.gov.uk or contact us on 0845 345 9166.

Becoming more efficient An efficiency saving occurs when the cost of an activity falls, but its effectiveness is not reduced. The table below shows the projected outcomes of our efficiency measures during 2008/09.

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009

£6,281,000

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009 as % of 2007/08 Baseline Expenditure

● Encourage people to live healthily: We continue to improve the health prospects of children and young people by ensuring that 5-16 year olds are involved in at least 2 hours of physical activity every week. We also support parents to help their children adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle. ● Make our services accessible: We continue to ensure that our services are accessible to the public. We are launching a new website in the summer of 2009 that will enable customers to access information about the Council more easily, request services and make payments online. 26

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1.8%

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009 per Band D property

£33.00

National average efficiency savings for authorities of same type

£53.00

Each year, councils are assessed by the Audit Commission on their Use of Resources and given a score out of 4 (4 being “performing strongly and 1 being “inadequate performance”). In January 2009, Somerset County Council scored 3, recognising continued good performance on making efficiency savings and improving services.


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2008/09 Net Cost £m

SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL Service

2009/10 Income Net Cost £m £m

Spend £m

Per Head £.p

87.0 128.7 63.4 20.0 11.0 2.1 2.8 2.9 6.2

Schools Other Children's Services Adult Social Care Highways & Transport Waste Services Cultural Services (incl. Libraries) Planning & Economic Development Consumer Protection Other Services Central Costs

277.6 186.1 212.7 86.7 37.1 14.2 1.1 3.8 3.7 6.3

277.6 85.6 58.5 33.1 13.8 2.6 2.4 1.0 1.5 -

0.0 100.5 154.2 53.6 23.3 11.6 -1.3 2.8 2.2 6.3

0.0 187.96 288.39 100.24 43.57 21.69 -2.43 5.24 4.11 11.78

324.1

Cost of Services

829.3

476.1

353.2

660.55

-2.2 0.6 0.1 -4.2 -4.2 4.5 -4.5 -21.7

Investment Income Environment Agency Somerset Local Strategic Partnerships Capital Financing Pensions Financing (FRS17) Contingencies Use of Reserves Area Based Grant/Supporting People

2.1 0.6 0.2 0.4 5.2 -

3.8 1.3 9.6 2.4 40.2

-1.7 0.6 0.2 -0.9 -9.6 5.2 -2.4 -40.2

-3.18 1.12 0.37 -1.68 -17.95 9.72 -4.49 -75.18

292.5

Budget Requirement

837.8

533.4

304.4

569.28

12.0 86.4 1.4 192.7

Funded by: Revenue Support Grant National Non-Domestic Rates Council Tax Surplus (from previous year) Council Tax*

19.5 84.7 1.1 199.1

36.47 158.40 2.06 372.35

292.5

Total Funding

304.4

569.28

* Note: Council Tax in 2009/10 is £1,027.30 for a band D property (£999.90 in 2008/09).

Summary Explanation of the Budget Variation

£m

2008/09 Budget Requirement: Adjustment for grant transfers and other technical items The cost of pay and price inflation Cost of financing capital expenditure Increased pension contributions due to 'actuarial strain' Demographic growth - the cost of providing services for more people Improvements in services Efficiency savings - doing the same for less money Additional external income - grants, fees and charges Other cash savings from services Use of reserves

292.5 1.7 11.4 5.8 0.3 4.6 6.3 (6.0) (1.2) (8.5) (2.5)

2009/10 Budget Requirement:

304.4

Further Information For more information and updates on how your Council Tax is spent see the latest edition of Your Somerset newspaper which is delivered to most households in Somerset and is also available in all libraries and online at: www.somerset.gov.uk/yoursomerset

“Somerset County Council positively values diversity, and celebrates cultural and social differences. Our Equal Opportunities Promise is to provide all services of equal quality which meet your needs and fulfil your rights. You can expect to be treated fairly, with respect, dignity and understanding whoever you are and whatever your background.”

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Financial Summary


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Avon and Somerset Police

Our Pledge to You Over 2008/09 the Constabulary has made notable performance improvements in many key areas. The detection rate has continued to increase to 27%, reflecting an improvement of 1.8% on last year. Additionally, good progress continues to be made for vehicle crime and criminal damage and we are seeing consistently higher levels of overall user satisfaction. In 2009/10 the Police Authority’s main goals are to ensure that our communities receive the very best possible police service within the resources available, and that people have the highest levels of confidence in the service we provide. We are committed to delivering the aims of the national Policing Pledge that was launched across the country at the beginning of 2009. The Pledge contains ten clear commitments about the standard

The Budget 2009/10 … And What it Means to You The budget process for 2009/10 has not been an easy one, as the Authority seeks to balance the policing needs of our communities with the impact of the downturn in the economy. The police budget and resulting increase in the police council tax precept seeks to maintain frontline police officer numbers and existing services. In order to do this we have had to identify significant efficiency savings, which has been possible due to the work we have done with collaboration and partnerships like our joint venture with Southwest One Limited. However, even with these efficiencies, we have still had to make some difficult decisions to arrive at a balanced budget for the next year including reducing planned spending in a 28

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of service that you can expect to receive from us. This includes ensuring that your Safer, Stronger Neighbourhood team works visibly in your area tackling your priorities and that you have regular opportunities to meet the team to let them know your views and to hear the progress they are making. Locally, we are already increasing the information we provide to you. Names and contact details of the members of the Safer Stronger Neighbourhoods Teams, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour statistics and the local priorities the teams are working to tackle are all available on the ‘Local Area’ pages of the Constabulary website: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk. You can also find the dates of your ‘Partners and Communities Together’ (PACT) meetings - your opportunity to have your say on the issues you would like the police and partners to tackle.

range of areas and holding some posts vacant for longer. In 2009/2010 the Authority expects to spend £270.429 million (£260.223 million 2008/2009) on policing services for you and your local community. The police council tax precept forms part of the overall council tax you pay and details are shown on the face of your council tax bill. This represents a total cost of £161.26 per year to the average council taxpayer in Avon and Somerset including the rise of £6.94 for 2009/2010. This sum pays for the range of policing services, which can be broadly categorised as:● ● ● ●

Reducing Crime Investigating Crime Promoting Public Safety Providing Assistance to the Public

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The following table shows the main reasons for the changes to the budget from 2008/09 to 2009/10 together with details of how the budget is financed. £m Budget for 2008/09 260.2 Pay and Price Inflation 8.4 Commitments 3.8 Efficiency improvements and Savings (2.1) Budget for 2009/10 270.4 This is financed by: Government Support: National Business Rates Government Revenue Support Grant Home Office Police Grant Contribution from balance Surplus on earlier years Collection Funds Balance to be met by Council Taxpayers

58.3 13.5 107.9 0.5 0.5 89.7 270.4

Financial & Statistical Information 2009/10: Expenditure £m Police Officers 168 Police Staff 51 Community Support Officers 10 Police Pensions 6 Running Expenses 32 Capital Funding Costs 4 Other Costs (net of Savings) 24 The Authority has set a budget requirement after deducting income from specific grants, fees and charges of £270.4m (£260.2m in 2008/09). The table shows that the majority of this is funded by Government and Home Office grants with the balance being met from Council Tax. The resulting increase in the Police Authority Council Tax Precept is 4.5%.

Capital Investment The Authority has agreed a capital programme for 2009/10 of £28.1m (£15m 2008/09). The programme includes continued investment in national information and communication systems, and replacement of police vehicles and equipment. In addition it also includes the capital costs of progressing the Accommodation Review currently being undertaken by the Authority. In agreeing the Capital programme, the Authority has approved a borrowing level of £24.5m (£10m 2008/09). Details of the capital programme are as follows: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

2008/09 £m 4.5

2.6 4.0 0.4 3.5 15.0

Details of Spend

2009/10 £m 2.7

Information and Communication Systems Estates Transport Services Plant Machinery and Equipment Support Services Systems Total Spend

To be funded from: 2.6 Capital Grants 9.0 Borrowing 1.1 Revenue Contributions 2.7 Capital Receipts (0.4) Other Funding 15.0 Total Funding

20.5 2.5 0.4 2.0 28.1

3.2 24.0 0.7 0.1 0.1 28.1

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Down to the detail


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Avon and Somerset Police

Latest Force Performance against 2008/09 Policing Plan Targets Indicator

Performance

Change on previous year

Target

Satisfied with the ease of contacting us * Satisfied with the action we take at the scene * Satisfied with our follow-up service * Satisfied with service provided by our staff * Satisfied with overall service * Satisfaction rate of victims of racist incidents * Percentage of complaints resolved locally (where local resolution is suitable) **** Domestic burglary per 1000 households ** Robbery per 1000 population ** Theft of motor vehicles per 1000 population ** Theft from motor vehicles per 1000 population ** Life threatening and gun crime ** *** (of which gun crime) ** ***

91.6% 79.2% 66.7% 91.7% 81.3% 76.6%

+1.2% pts +2.3% pts +3.4% pts +0.4% pts +0.7% pts +5.8% pts

93% 80% 66% 93% 85% 75%

62% 13.9 1.3 2.7 7.6 640 113

-8% pts +3.3% +6.6% -17.5% -15.9% +28.3% -18.9%

75% -15% -10% -10% -10% 0% 0%

Detection rate for all crimes **** Detection rate for domestic burglary **** Detection rate for robbery **** Detection rate for theft of motor vehicles **** Detection rate for theft from motor vehicles **** Detection rate for hate crime **** Detection rate for violence against person **** Detection rate for rape **** Fear of being a victim of domestic burglary Fear of being a victim of violent crime Fear of being a victim of vehicle crime Concern over levels of anti-social behaviour Concern over local drug use/dealing "Fatalities or serious injuries resulting from road traffic collisions" 999 calls answered within 10 seconds General calls answered within 40 seconds Urban emergency incidents attended in 10 min Rural emergency incidents attended in 20 min

27.0% 14.5% 16.4% 15.2% 11.7% 34.3% 19.0% 7.5% 8.4% 10.6% 11.6% 20.8%

+1.9% pts +0.6% pts -3.7% pts -0.4% pts +4.4% pts -3.2% pts No Change -6.0% pts ***** ***** ***** -2.4% -3.2%

29% 18% 22% 20% 10% 42% 55% 28% 9.0% 12.3% 10.1% 13.2% 21.6%

Not available 84% 80% 70.5% 83.6%

+1% pts +10% pts -1.9% pts +0.1% pts

511 for 2010 90% 75% 75% 90%

* ** ***

12 Months ending 30th November 2008 Annual estimate based on Apr-Dec This has been broken down because the "life threatening" aspect has been affected by the change in guidance for recording violent crimes, where the crime is now recorded based on the "intent" of the perpetrator rather than the actual injuries sustained **** Position at 31st December 2008 ***** Data no longer collected by the home office. Reported performance is at 31/3/08 30

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CITIZEN FOCUSED POLICING ● To improve the quality of service to our customers ● To increase trust and confidence in policing, especially among our minority communities ● To increase visibility and contact with our communities ● To reduce local disorder and anti-social behaviour, in particular alcohol-related violence ● To meet Policing Pledge aims for emergency calls ● To improve road safety REDUCING CRIME & BRINGING OFFENDERS TO JUSTICE ● To reduce crime and increase the proportion of crimes where the offender is brought to justice, especially for: ● Robbery ● Domestic burglaries ● Racial and other Hate crime ● Rape ● Domestic violence ● Violent crime ● Vehicle crime PROTECTIVE SERVICES ● To continue to play a leading role in the provision of protective services in the region ● To continue to tackle major crime, particularly: ● Organised crime involved in supplying illegal drugs ● Offences against children ● To play our full part locally and nationally in counter-terrorism strategies ● To ensure effective plans are in place with our partners to deal with serious incidents PEOPLE & RESOURCING ● To use resources more efficiently to increase police officer time spent on local policing delivery ● To deliver a more representative workforce to reflect the diverse communities we serve ● To reduce sickness levels www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

Performance Target Commentary Challenging performance targets have been set in the policing plan and the Constabulary’s performance against these targets will be monitored and publicised by the Authority. The targets reflect the determination of both the Authority and the Constabulary to provide the highest possible quality of policing services and criminal investigation, ensuring the communities of Avon and Somerset feel safe and have the highest possible levels of confidence in local policing. Crime reduction targets include the further reduction of burglary, robbery and vehicle crime. In terms of detecting crime, the target is to raise the overall rate to at least 28%. Regarding satisfaction levels for the ease of contacting us, the target is to raise this from its current level of 91.6% to at least 93%. Performance targets also include reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions and improving the detection rate of rape to at least 22%.

For further information Budget questions Treasurer to the Police Authority Valley Road Portishead Bristol BS20 8JJ Tel: 01275 816380 www.aspola.org.uk Policing issues Chief Constable PO Box 37 Valley Road Portishead Bristol BS20 8QJ Tel: 01275 816006 www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

www.aspola.org.uk

31

Avon and Somerset Police

2009/10 Objectives


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Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority Taking the Service forward A new Chief Fire Officer has been appointed to lead Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service. The Fire Authority has appointed Lee Howell, the former head of Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service, and he took up the post early in 2009. Mr Howell works with senior colleagues and Authority members to ensure firefighters are equipped to respond to emergency incidents and help protect the public from harm. Preventing incidents from happening through education campaigns and enforcement of fire safety regulations is also a primary focus for the Service.

People saved from flooding Torrential rain and freak weather conditions brought the rescue role of the fire service into the spotlight this year. Widespread flooding incidents across Devon and Somerset led to firefighters carrying out

rescues of people from vehicles and flooded properties. During periods of high demand, the Service’s control rooms were receiving hundreds of calls within hours from people concerned about rising floodwater. Heavy raid led to widespread flooding across Somerset during a 12-hour period in December 2008. Fire crews carried out 54 rescues from vehicles in floodwater and 30 rescues from flooded properties in the county. The Service is investing in additional training and equipment for its firefighters to carry out water rescues safely as a response to the growing number of flooding incidents that crews are being asked to attend.

Investing in the future A programme of improvement works has been put in place to make several fire stations in Somerset suitable for use by their local communities. Work has already started in Taunton and Yeovil and other stations including Williton, Somerton, Martock and Street are due for improvement during the next 12–18 months. Two brand new fire stations are being built in Exeter and are due to become operational towards the end of 2009. The £5 million investment will ensure that the city has two full-time fire stations for the first time since the end of the Second World War, supported by a retained station at Topsham. The Service is also investing £2.2 million on five new high-reach fire appliances which will join the fleet this financial year. The ladders on the hydraulic platforms have a reach of 34 metres and enable firefighters to safely fight fires from height.

32

www.dsfire.gov.uk


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Home safety visits

Working with other partner agencies to reduce deaths and injuries from road traffic collisions is another important role that is being taken on by firefighters.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service offers free advice and guidance on how to avoid fires and what to do if you are unfortunate enough to experience one. This service may include the fitting of a free smoke alarm. To request a free home safety visit, call freephone 0800 73 11 822.

The Service is involved in many initiatives designed to educate motorists, particularly young drivers, who are most at risk of being involved in crashes. One of the most hard-hitting projects is the Choices and Consequences roadshow, during which members of the emergency services visit schools and colleges to talk about what it is like to deal with serious road traffic collisions and the young people are asked to sign a 'contract for life.'

Stay safe from fire ● Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - you should have one on each level of your home. ● Test it weekly - A working smoke alarm can give you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. ● Don’t remove the batteries - if your smoke alarm keeps going off accidentally while you are cooking, don’t remove the batteries. Instead move the alarm or change it for one with a silencer button.

For advice on fire safety and prevention, call our helpline on 01823 365365 (West Somerset) or 01935 382000 (East Somerset), text 078 0000 2476, visit our website www.dsfire.gov.uk, or email firesafety@dsfire.gov.uk. In an emergency, call 999.

Becoming a retained duty system firefighter Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is recruiting retained firefighters in many towns and villages across the two counties. Retained firefighters are men and women who have other jobs or are homemakers but carry an alerter and are paid to take on their firefighting and rescue role when an incident occurs. For more information on becoming a retained firefighter, telephone 01392 872346.

www.dsfire.gov.uk

33

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

Driving home the message


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Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

Financial information for 2009/2010 This is only the third year of the combined Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority, following the voluntary merger in April 2007 of the former Devon Fire and Rescue Service and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. The Authority is responsible for the governance arrangements for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, including the responsibility for setting its revenue and capital budgets in order to meet local and national priorities. The central government Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has provided the Authority with an increase in its grant allocation for 2008/9 of 2.1%, and an indication that its settlement for 2010/11 will be 2.3%. The government’s Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 (CSR 2007) requires local authorities to deliver efficiency savings every year. Whilst the Authority is conscious of the need to limit any increase in council tax, it also acknowledges the importance of maintaining and developing the functions required to deliver an efficient and effective service to the public.

How has the budget changed? In setting the 2009/10 budget, the Authority has to meet unavoidable commitments, such as pay and price increases, and has also included a limited number of essential spending items in order to deliver its Corporate Plan and the requirements of the government’s National Framework document. The changes between last year’s budget and 2009/10 are shown in the table below: Changes in spending between 2008/9 and 2009/10

£ million

Budget for 2008/2009

70,302

Pay awards and other price increases

1,693

Unavoidable changes arising from earlier years

572

High priority essential service needs

329

Efficiency savings

(237)

Support from the Authority’s reserves

Budget needed for 2009/2010

72,659

From where does the money come? The funding of the Authority’s services comes from a number of sources. Funding sources in 2009/2010

£ million

£ per head of population

Budget needed

72,659

43

5.725

3

Less national funding: Revenue support grant Business rates

24.804

15

Amount paid by council tax payers

42,130

25

34

www.dsfire.gov.uk


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The table below shows the fire element of council tax for each valuation band: Band A

£46.12

Band E

£84.55

Band B

£53.81

Band F

£99.93

Band C

£61.49

Band G

£115.30

Band D

£69.18

Band H

£138.36

This represents an increase of 3.9% compared to the 2008/9 figure.

Capital spending 2009/10 Our planned capital spending in 2009/2010 will be £8.738 million. The programme is comprised of £5.312 million for building projects and £3.426 million for replacement vehicles and equipment.

Efficiency Information Efficiency is about spending better - making money go further and offering value for money to council tax payers. The outcomes of our efficiency measurements are in the table below; Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority Measure

Outcome

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009

£1,205,000

Forecast efficiency savings by March 2009 as % of 2007/08 Baseline Expenditure

1.8%

Impact of forecast efficiency savings by March 2009 for Band D

£2.00

Average impact of forecast savings by March 2009 for authorities of same type

£2.00

It is the aim of the Authority that resources released through our efficiency savings are retained and reallocated according to our local priorities. However, for 2008/2009 efficiencies were required in order to set a balanced budget following an adverse grant settlement. The main efficiencies achieved in 2008/2009 were as a result of changes to crewing arrangements (£562,000), economies of scale savings from the merger of the former Devon Fire and Rescue Service and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (£325,000), reductions in the number of fire appliance mobilisations (£140,000), and better procurement (£63,000).

www.dsfire.gov.uk

35

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority

By setting its budget at £72,659m, the level of spending in 2009/2010, the Authority requires a council tax level of £69.18 for a Band D household which equates to £1.33 per week.


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HOW TO CONTACT THE COUNCIL FOR ALL ENQUIRIES Telephone

01643 703704

Telephone hours

8.30 am - 5.00 pm Monday to Thursday 8.30 am - 4.30 Friday ( Y o u r c a l l m ay b e r e c o rd e d )

Emergency

Careline 0800 0831404 (4.30 pm - 8.30 am)

Email

customerservices@westsomerset.gov.uk

Website

www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk

Minehead Customer Centre

1-3 Summerland Road, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5BP Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

Williton Office

West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4QA Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 5pm; Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

Visitor Information and Interpretation Centre

Warren Road, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5BG Tel (01643) 702624 visitor@westsomerset.gov.uk

HELP STOP FRAUD If you know somebody who you think is claiming benefit incorrectly, help us to stop them by calling the Benefits Fraud Hotline 01984 635236

If you would like a copy of this booklet in large print, on tape or in braille, please contact us. We can also arrange for translation of this booklet into other languages.


Council Tax Booklet  

Council Tax Booklet 09-10

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