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How is my Council Tax Spent?

Your Council Tax

We collect your council tax on behalf of Devon County Council, ourselves South Hams District Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Authority and Town and Parish Councils.

This year for an average band D property your council tax will be £2,090.55 and it is divided up like this:

AuthorityPercentage Share
Devon County Council64%
Devon County Council*
(Precept to fund adult social care)
South Hams District Council8%
Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner11%
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority5%
Town and Parish Council4%

*see statement concerning adult social care funding below

This short video shows the details and a summary of our spending plans for the coming year:

Changes in spending

South Hams District Council plans to spend £38.6million (gross) on providing services for 2021/22. A total of £31.9million of this amount comes from the income we receive from grants, fees and charges. Therefore the amount of council tax we need to collect is £6.7 million.

The Council's net budget has increased from £9.41 million (20/21) to £9.68 million (21/22). A number of recent changes to Government funding means the Council no longer receives any Government Grant (Revenue Support Grant). It therefore has to be self-sufficient to fund all of its services on a budget of £9.68million.

This year, the Council has increased council tax by £5 from £170.42 in 2020/21. This means that the cost of South Hams services for an average band D property will be £175.42 for 2021/22 (out of a total council tax bill for a band D property of £2,090.55). The Council has committed to protecting frontline services where possible.

The Budget for 2021/22 includes an amount of £500,000 to support the Council's Recovery and Renewal Plans to help the community 'build back better' from the wide ranging impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

A further commitment of £200,000 has been put towards the Council's Climate Change and Biodiversity goal to be carbon free by 2030 and to work with the community to make the District net-zero by 2050, at the latest. This is in addition to £400,000 set aside in 2020/21 for climate change initiatives.

In March 2021, the Council has started rolling out its new recycling service, allowing our residents to recycle more as part of their kerbside collection, with a weekly food waste collection. The service will be rolled out across the District between now and May 2021.

Further allocated funding has also been made available for the creation of four new seasonal posts within the Localities Team, for the busy spring and summer tourism season. Their community role includes ensuring the local area is kept environmentally clean and safe, litter, dog bins are emptied, and toilet blocks are hygienic. They also help to keep both residents and visitors, protected within COVID restrictions, especially at popular tourist destinations.

Just under £2.4 million has been set aside for a Capital Works Programme for a range of projects. This funding includes private sector renewals for eligible residents' homes, including Disabled Facility Grants (DFGs). DFGs range from stair lifts to level access showers to support independent living within the home.

A previously agreed annual contribution towards a Waste fleet replacement programme is included within this fund. Also included is the provision of car parking adjacent to the Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Hub

The Council continues to share staff with West Devon Borough Council. South Hams District Council is generating ongoing annual savings of £3.9 million from a joint Transformation Programme and sharing services with West Devon Borough Council. The Councils' shared workforce has been reduced by 30% through the T18 Transformation Programme and processes have been redesigned around the customer. The radical programme has changed how the Councils' work, to deliver more efficiencies and to retain the Councils' front line services.

Spending plans for 2020/21

This year, our spending plans can be summarised as follows:

Service Area2021/22
Gross figures
Gross figures
Customer Service and Delivery
(frontline services such as waste, planning, housing, environmental health etc.)
Governance and Assurance
(mainly contracts; waste, leisure centres)
Place and Enterprise
(car parking, Dartmouth Lower Ferry, Salcombe Harbour etc.)
Strategic Finance
(Including financial planning)
Contributions from Reserves
(to fund one-off items of expense)


The video above shows this information as a bar graph.

Statement concerning adult social care funding

The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. ('Adult social care authorities' are local authorities which have functions under Part 1of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional 'precept 'on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care from the financial year 2016/17. It was originally made in respect of the financial years up to and including 2019-20. If the Secretary of State chooses to renew this offer in respect of a particular financial year, this is subject to the approval of the House of Commons.

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