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Hello, good evening. his administration.
Councillors in Devon and Dorset have tonight become the latest to approve
It follows Somerset council's decision to increase bills
The other local authorities in our region are expected
to make similar increases within the next few weeks.
More from our political reporter, Anna Varle.
Many of us have seen small increases in council tax over the last few
years to pay for things like bin collections,
highways, street and fire, but this year you might notice
a change in your bill because of social care.
Let's go into the kitchen, make you a cup of tea.
A task many of us take for granted but
Joyce has just returned home from hospital and needs help to get back
This support has a cost, which is why local
authorities are looking at charging council taxpayers more.
Once you've had carers in, if you don't know
fancy putting their council tax up, but when you know the things that
you do and the money goes towards, you don't mind so much.
Protests took place in Somerset yesterday as
councillors set the biggest rise in more
than a decade and today it was
Today Devon County Council decided to increase
2% of that will go on bins, police, fire, 3% will
go on social care for the likes of Joyce.
Those in a band D property will pay around ?60 more a year.
We have to put in a large amount of money to look after people.
It's going through, ?19 million, ?2 million for children's services.
Similar increases are expected across the rest of the region in the
I think largely people can afford it and social care
service which is the point of
need, social care which is means tested.
I haven't any objection to them putting our council tax up.
We will find the money and I believe it
But despite the rise in council tax, local authorities
like Devon are still having to make ?23 million in cuts to social
Our political editor is with us. These latest rises more evidence of
the strain on local councils? Yes, that strain would go away, even
with these rises and millions of pounds of cuts. A big gripe as
always is the amount of grant that central government is paying to
local councils. Just before Christmas when the provisional
settlement was announced, as in previous years, there was a lot of
criticism from MPs and councils in rural areas like ours saying the
amount the government was offering was unfair and simply not
sufficient to meet their needs. We are in a slightly strange situation
this year where most of the main councils in the region set their
budgets before they hear what the final offer from the government will
be because it has to be announced and voted on in Westminster next
week so we are in a situation where if the government comes out with a
lot more money next week these budgets will be set and the Council
bills will be set and I gather the government is getting the blame for
that as well because it is so late because of all the Brexit
negotiations and the councils have to get their budgets set by law by
the beginning of March. If the government doesn't come up
with any more money, are there any obvious options for local councils?
This is worsening situation and it tends to hit smaller councils
of Scilly at the moment is battling of Scilly at the moment is battling
big black holes its budget. Small rural District Council is really
tend to suffer with all of this as well. Looking around the country a
number of rural counties including Dorset here in the south-west are
looking at following Cornwall and abolishing district councils and
unitary is as well -- instead. If Dorsey gets the go-ahead if you look
at the whole of the South West from Gloucestershire done Medvedev
announced Somerset would only -- be the only authority is sticking to
the traditional structure. Devon and Somerset might then come under
pressure to do the same thing for financial reasons. Thank you.
Meanwhile the Isles of Scilly Council is having
to decide how much money to save after a major overspend.
Although the islands are just off Cornwall they're independent
from Cornwall Council and are responsible
for their own finances, as Nick Quraishi explains.
It describes itself as the smallest unitary authority in England, with
the biggest bream it. In charge of a school, an airport, a residential
care home and water supplies. Set up in 1890 the Council for Scilly
provides services for 2300 islanders with 21 councillors and two more --
117 full-time employees so it is the island 's largest employer. Its
because it overspent. The council 's because it overspent. The council 's
general reserve fund, or savings account, stands at ?500,000, half of
what was expected. This coming year money will be cut from budgets, with
potential for more. Among the biggest savings is ?200,000 for
making waste disposal more efficient. Almost 50,000 imposing
fortnightly winter bin collections and scaling down on street sweeping.
It will drop the money it pays to the tourist information centre and
take ?5,000 from a health scheme that led a counsellor to walk out of
a recent meeting. The final budget for last year will be set on the 7th
of March. A controversial car park pay machine
has been replaced at a location used in the Poldark TV series
in Cornwall, after the original was deliberately pulled
out of the ground. There are calls for the National
Trust not to enforce parking charges at Levant Mine because it's the site
of one of the area's worst mining disasters,
as Hannah Stacey reports. The underground workings of Levant
mine extend more than a mile Generations of men sought copper
and tin here but the Levant mine disaster in October 1919 was one
of the biggest losses of life 31 men were killed when the device
to carry them down the shaft failed. Scenes from the first series
of Poldark were filmed here. For now, they have enough copper
to cope and come the next auction... We will see they come
away empty-handed. There has been a 50%
increase in visitor That means the footfall
has increased here. 70% of those people don't go
into the site itself but walk in the local landscape
which we also look after. So that increases the maintenance
liability and we have an conservation work we need to do
to keep the space special. So to pay for it they have put
in a parking machine, It will cost us money to replace us,
it has already cost us money to replace and that is money
we could have used for conservation work, so it is sad there has
been that vandalism. Opponents say they don't
condone the vandalism but still want to get this machine
moved legally and permanently. They make a point about protecting
the environment but I would hardly call sticking that parking meter
here protecting the environment, and how did they manage
for all these decades I suppose it's people like us that
are attracted to this place because of Poldark and we have
to pay for the upkeep of it. My grandfather was Tom Rowe
and he died in the Levant mine disaster but I still think
the National Trust need to charge to park here because it's becoming
increasingly popular with Poldark. They need money to maintain
the roads and the access in and out. With the 100th anniversary
of the Levant mine disaster approaching, the National Trust says
descendents of the men killed will still be able to come
here and park for free. Now with the weather forecast, here
is Holly. Thank you. We had a very nice day
today in many respects and that led to a nice evening and I have been
spoilt for choice with my lovely photos that have been coming in.
This one is viewed earlier on today. Tomorrow it will unfortunately be
cloudier and we have the risk of showery rain later as well. High
pressure has been in charge and it stays in charge in the coming days
but weather fronts will try to push in. They weaken but bring more cloud
than perhaps a bit of rain, I suspect mostly dry over the coming
days. This evening and overnight then we might see mist and fog
patches and low cloud rolling in. If we get clear spells a touch of frost
is possible but most of us will be generally frost free tomorrow. Early
mist and fog and quite a lot of cloud spilling in which we'll cope
to the moors as well. Hill fog around. Later today the risk of
showery rain but not too much and a brisk wind to the West. Temperatures
will get into double figures. Cloudy in the coming days and it is dry.
Where you get some sunshine it should feel reasonably nice.
Thank you. That is all from us. Our next update is just before 6:30am.
From us, good night. of 11. Not too bad for the
forthcoming weekend. Here is Nick Miller with a resume of the National
weather picture. Hello, rain for some of us today
although it won't make much of