Roundway Parish Council chairman Chris Callow says an inflation busting increase in the council tax precept has been set to raise money for community projects.

The parish council has agreed an increase of 34.4 per cent in its precept, which for a Band D property will result in an increase of £9.83 to £38.43.

Coun Callow said the extra money is needed to pay for new allotments and towards buying a derelict woodland.

He said: “We need an extra £20,000 to finish off our allotment project. It will cost us about £100,000 to prepare the land and upgrade the path to it. We have been putting money away each year towards it.

“We have also agreed to put £5,000 towards the cost of purchasing the former cricket pitch and orchard in a field between Drews Wood and the former Roundway Hospital, which will be used by the community.”

Coun Callow agreed the precept rise was sizeable.

He said: “I think we can justify the increase. We are either a parish council sitting there and not doing anything and not spending money, or we are a parish council that tries to provide facilities for people.

“We have been looking for many years for a suitable site for allotments and now we have got land, we have to finish the job.”