Westbury council tax up to cover cuts

First published in Latest News

WESTBURY Town Council is to increase its precept by 11.92 per cent, after councils across the county had their support grants cut by government.

It means an annual increase of £6.86, from £71.74 to £78.60 for Band D properties in Westbury, which works out as 13p a week, to cope with Westbury’s support grant falling from £49,225 to £31,996. The rest is expected to be withdrawn over the next few years.

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.

It hits councils in deprived areas particularly heavily, because the support grant was given to cover the tax shortfall from residents with low or no incomes who could not afford to pay council tax on their properties.

A statement from the council said: “Following a comprehensive review, WTC has cut its planned expenditure in 2014-15 by £12,620, thereby limiting the amount of extra tax needed to make up for the reduced support grant.

“The 2014-15 increase will fully cover that shortfall in income. Any support grant that the council does receive from Wiltshire Council can then be earmarked for capital projects or to cover the cost of any asset transfers that WC may offer to WTC to save such services from possible closure.

“Also, there has been talk of town and parish councils being capped in the future and taking these steps now will allow WTC to work within any capped limits without having to cut any services.”

Westbury Town Council’s tax burden will still be less than four per cent of the overall council tax for Westbury households, representing a rise of 0.48 per cent on the total tax bill.

The recommendation came from the town council’s finance committee and was approved at a full council meeting on Monday, with 11 councillors voting in favour and one voting against.

Finance committee member Cllr Stephen Andrews said: “The council has looked at every item of expenditure in our budget and we have made savings ourselves, but we have to make up the funding we are losing by raising the precept.”

Comments (4)

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7:01pm Fri 10 Jan 14

moonrakin wurzel says...

“Also, there has been talk of town and parish councils being capped in the future and taking these steps now will allow WTC to work within any capped limits without having to cut any services.”

you don't say?

Why do you think councils were capped in the first place ?
“Also, there has been talk of town and parish councils being capped in the future and taking these steps now will allow WTC to work within any capped limits without having to cut any services.” you don't say? Why do you think councils were capped in the first place ? moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 1

8:27pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Room101 says...

Cut the number of Councillors local and county would save money.
Cut the number of Councillors local and county would save money. Room101
  • Score: 7

11:41am Sat 11 Jan 14

brasstacks says...

It is hard to believe that there is any Democracy when a Town Council has to increase Council Tax for the very Electorate they are meant to Represent and help to provide Services for ?

Few of us actually know what "precepts" are and.. it is Wilts Council who do NOT work hard enough to make sure that the dosh they get from Westminster IS spent on the Services it IS provided for...

The Fact is that Tax Payers dosh IS being miss spent by Westminster..

Local Conservative led Councils are simply turning around and passing on deficits to us instead of asking "Captain Dave" for MORE Funding because it is NOT enough to provide the Services we pay for and do NOT get..

We all need to ensure that when we Vote in Local Elections that we cast our Votes for Councillors who DO care and who do not just sit in Meetings and "say nought"

There ARE Councillors in Westbuy who DO care but whilst Jane Scott and Co are in power at County Hall, there is LITTLE chance of any change unless Local Councillors join together and challenge the cuts that Ms Scott and her Political Cabinet "make" in order to pay for their excessive spending on "other things" that do NOT include Services to Residents..
It is hard to believe that there is any Democracy when a Town Council has to increase Council Tax for the very Electorate they are meant to Represent and help to provide Services for ? Few of us actually know what "precepts" are and.. it is Wilts Council who do NOT work hard enough to make sure that the dosh they get from Westminster IS spent on the Services it IS provided for... The Fact is that Tax Payers dosh IS being miss spent by Westminster.. Local Conservative led Councils are simply turning around and passing on deficits to us instead of asking "Captain Dave" for MORE Funding because it is NOT enough to provide the Services we pay for and do NOT get.. We all need to ensure that when we Vote in Local Elections that we cast our Votes for Councillors who DO care and who do not just sit in Meetings and "say nought" There ARE Councillors in Westbuy who DO care but whilst Jane Scott and Co are in power at County Hall, there is LITTLE chance of any change unless Local Councillors join together and challenge the cuts that Ms Scott and her Political Cabinet "make" in order to pay for their excessive spending on "other things" that do NOT include Services to Residents.. brasstacks
  • Score: 3

6:22pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Mike Hawkins says...

I personally do not believe that Westbury Town Council should have raised its precept to "protect the services formerly funded by Wiltshire Counil"!

If Wiltshire Council, because of its reduced funding from Government, wants to cut services, let them explain why they have chosen these, and not the equality and diversity budgets, etc, etc. Also, if these cuts are the result of Government reduction in funding, let the Government be held accountable!

It is NOT the role of the Town Council to permit "double taxation" whereby the services are paid for by additional taxes at town level without a reduction in the Wiltshire Council tax!!
I personally do not believe that Westbury Town Council should have raised its precept to "protect the services formerly funded by Wiltshire Counil"! If Wiltshire Council, because of its reduced funding from Government, wants to cut services, let them explain why they have chosen these, and not the equality and diversity budgets, etc, etc. Also, if these cuts are the result of Government reduction in funding, let the Government be held accountable! It is NOT the role of the Town Council to permit "double taxation" whereby the services are paid for by additional taxes at town level without a reduction in the Wiltshire Council tax!! Mike Hawkins
  • Score: 3

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