A COMBINATION of less government funding being funnelled down to Wiltshire Council and town councils having to take on more services has led to residents being hit with council tax increases.

Those living in Bradford on Avon, Melksham and Warminster have all seen double-digit percentage rises in their local share of council tax, while Melksham Without, Trowbridge and Westbury have had more modest rises to help maintain and protect services.

Average Band D homes in Warminster will pay £124.11, up £30.32 from last year, for those in Bradford on Avon it will be £174.42, up £34.05 and Melksham residents will be hit with a £25.29 rise to £140.78.

Trowbridge, up £4.35 to £148.99 a year, Westbury, saw a £5.11 rise to £118.69, and Melksham Without which rose £4.78 up to £74.96, got smaller hikes.

Band D households across the county will see their annual contribution towards services run by Wiltshire Council rise £79.94, from £1,334.63 in 2017 to £1,414.57 in 2018. By adding up the town, Wiltshire Council, police and fire precepts, the overall council tax number is reached.

But were Trowbridge residents happy with their three percent precept increase and the near six per cent council tax rise from Wiltshire Council?

David Bishop, 75, of Polbarn Road, said: “My pension only goes up two per cent, so this exceeding that is not ideal for me and others like me.”

Beth Paton, 36, owner of Total Glamour, in Church Walk, said; “I think so much needs to be done to improve this place. Where do you start really? It is a nightmare having the bins once a fortnight. The council tax goes up but I’m not sure much good has come of it.”

David Meaden, 76, of Beech Grove, added: “I have records of the council tax going up from Wiltshire Council for the last 20 years and things have got worse. The town council and Wiltshire Council are keen to shift the blame but everyone is partly responsible for this mess.”

However Sian Ellis, of Princess Gardens, Hilperton, said: “It is hard to say no to the increases from Wiltshire Council when they say it will go on social care. For me that is so important. So for those in Hilperton, who didn’t get a rise, I think we are getting value for money from them and Wiltshire Council.”

This year the council has had to make £25.6m of savings due to increased demand for services such as adult social care, increases in staff wages and the continued reduction in financial support from central government.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook, council leader, said: “Each year we face the tough challenge of balancing the budget to ensure that we can allocate sufficient funding to deliver our priorities.

“Continuing to protect those who are most vulnerable is a growing challenge, but one that we are committed to prioritising.”

The police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson has also increased the crime element of council tax by £1 a month for Band D households, from £14.19 to £15.19 a month.

A final council tax figure will be released once Dorset and Wiltshire Fire service announce its precept later this week.