TOWN councillors in Warminster are being asked to approve a rise in their budget precept for the next financial year, putting up their share of the council tax by over 40 per cent.

Councillors will be asked to make a decision at their full council meeting on January 20.

If approved, it would raise the council’s budget for the financial year 2020/21 to £1,130,666, an increase of £344,183.

That would equal to a Band D council tax of £183.63 a year, or an increase of £3.52 a week.

This would be a rise of £55.67 on last year’s budget, equivalent to £1.07 a week, an increase of 43.51 per cent.

The town council’s annual budget was £786,483 for the current financial year for 2019/20.

Members of the council’s finance and asset committee approved the increase at their meeting on Monday, January 6.

It will now go to the full council for final approval, unless other members have any amendments to make.

The increase will include a substantial rise of more than £300,00 to cover the expected transfer of assets from Wiltshire Council.

Committee members were told this would require a significant investment this year, plus a further £137,000 next year.

Cllr Pip Ridout said: “My gut feeling is that we have got to go with this and hope the full council agree.”

A maintenance contract involving Wiltshire Council’s contractor idverde is not expected to begin until October or November this year.

This will enable the council to make offset some of the costs by not taking on the service straight away.

In Westbury, the town council’s proposed budget for 2020/21 will raise the precept by 29.7 per cent to £172.45 a year from £132.93 in 2019/20.

This would mean a rise of £39.52, or 75.8p per week for a Band D household. The estimated budget for 2020/21 is rising to £881,658 from £674,318, an increase of £207,340 or 30.75 per cent. Chairman Cllr Mike Sutton said: “We approved the budget precept with reservations.

“We don’t yet know what the outcome of negotiations with Wiltshire Council will be in terms of taking on asset transfers next year.

“Discussions were due to take place this month and have been put back until April, meaning that we have to set aside a figure before the end of the financial year.”