The Town Council, at its December meeting, proposed to increase its share of our council tax – the precept – by over £50,000 for the next year (2014/15). According to the town clerk, this would mean a 37% rise, or around £22 extra for Band D taxpayers, up to £37 extra a year for Band G payers.
This hike in the amount you pay for services provided by the town council covers many areas including Town Hall repairs, but two significant increases are for new playground equipment for the New Street playground, and the cost of producing the local neighbourhood plan.
The decision to find money to fund playground improvements follows councillors’ visits to various local playgrounds, after which they decided that the New Street recreation ground was in ‘very poor condition’. The council believes the site requires a lot of money spending on it to bring it up to an acceptable standard, and the council tax increase would potentially mean £20,000 being spent in this area.
A further £23,000 would be budgeted for Neighbourhood Plan costs over the next year. Councillors hope to get some future grants to cover some of this.
We will be covering this story in detail in our February issue, but we’d like to know what you think about the proposed increase. Your views may be included in our print edition.
So, are you a parent who is happy to pay an increased council tax if it means better facilities for your children to play in? Do you think the investment in our town’s play facilities will bring in extra visitors or get it used more? Or do you think that in an era of austerity, it’s not the right time to increase residents’ bills?
Fill in our poll below, or add a comment below. We’d like to know your views.