Somerset householders face extra £50 on council tax bill

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Image caption,
Both councils met to set their budgets for 2020-21

Two authorities in Somerset have set their council tax bill - which will each see a Band D property owner paying about £50 more per year.

Somerset County Council said it would not make any new cuts to front line services and investing more than £110m in project including schools and roads.

In both that area and in North Somerset bills will increase by 1.99%, plus a social care precept of 2%.

The increases will be in addition to police, fire and parish precepts.

David Fothergill, the leader of Conservative-controlled Somerset County Council made a series of spending pledges at a meeting in Taunton.

He said the authority would increase payments to local companies which provide adult social care and give £2m to improve transport links in rural parts of Somerset.

More than £1m will be spent on installing 20mph zones outside some of the county's schools.

And there will be £1m so parishes and towns can support "grassroots projects" to tackle climate change - the money will be made available to parishes and towns.

Responding to the news, Liberal Democrat group leader Jane Lock said it appeared leaders were "attempting to reverse some of the damage done over the last 11 years".

In North Somerset the budget also includes a new £50 annual charge for garden waste collections and a parking review, with new charges proposed for Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead. 

Council leader Don Davies said financial austerity had not gone away and the authority was still facing "tough choices" with further savings of over £18m still to be identified between 2021 and 2024.

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