Warminster Town Council increases tax to cover cuts

Mayor Paul Batchelor, who chaired the full council meeting

Mayor Paul Batchelor, who chaired the full council meeting

First published in News by , Senior reporter for Trowbridge

Warminster Town Council is to increase its precept by 10 per cent in response to councils across the county having their support grants cut by government.

The move means an annual increase of £7.37, from £73.70 to £81.07 for Band D properties in Warminster, which works out as 14p a week, to deal with the town’s support grant falling from £55,028 to £35,768.

The decision to increase the precept was confirmed at a full council meeting yesterday, following a recommendation from the finance and assets committee, with nine members voting for and four voting against.

Cllr Kate Fryer, who voted in favour of the increase, said: “I don’t think it’s too much when looking at what the other towns in our area have done and we wouldn’t want to fall behind them.”

Mayor Paul Batchelor added: “No one wants to put up the precept by 10 per cent, but it is something we have little control over.”

Changes made by the government in the way the Council Tax Base is supported has had a financial impact on all town and parish councils.

Cllr Pip Ridout voted against the 10 per cent increase, arguing that a six per cent increase would have been sufficient.

Cllr Jamie Cullen, who was also in favour of a six per cent rise, said: “My feeling on 10 per cent is that it’s too high. At a time when people’s budgets are squeezed I think we need to do our part.”

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