Marlborough council increases tax by 15 per cent

MARLBOROUGH Town Council is to increase its council tax precept by 15.49 per cent to deal with a £31,325 shortfall.

The recommendation came from the town council’s finance and policy committee and was approved at a full council meeting on Monday night.

It means that next year Band D properties in Marlborough will pay an extra £19.56 per year, which works out as 37p a week.

Councillors said it was not an easy decision to make but could not be avoided after councils across the country had their support grants cut by government.

Finance committee chairman Andrew Ross said: “Nobody wants to raise taxes, especially during times of austerity, but there really was no other option.

“Though some savings were made, we had to raise the precept to be able to continue with our existing services and try to deliver what local people have told us they want – keeping hold of public conveniences in the town, CCTV, a Neighbourhood Plan.

“The alternative would have been to cut services and pull the plug on the new projects.

“Our reserves remain tight and we need to maintain these to ensure we are resilient to any other cuts that come our way.”

The precept equates to less than 10 per cent of the total council tax bill and covers the running of the town council.

In Marlborough the money is used to maintain the Town Hall, The Common, The Green, Priory Gardens, Stonebridge and Coopers Meadows, the cemeteries, litter picking and floral displays, among other things.

Mayor Guy Loosmore said: “Local people recognise the good value that the town council offers on their doorsteps.

“Our proportion of the overall tax bill for Marlborough is very, very small in comparison to the amount Wiltshire Council needs.

“Compared to other towns, we are not an expensive place.”

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