Devizes Town Council saves services, but puts up tax

Devizes residents will have to pay more than they are used to for the town council’s share of the council tax bill.

After the reduction in grant funding by Wiltshire Council to town and parish councils, the town council has decided not to cut services but to put up its council tax precept next year by 13.9 per cent. For a Band D property this means an increase of £15 for the year to £122.85.

Such a substantial rise has not been experienced since the town council had to raise money to pay for the refurbishment of the Corn Exchange in the 1990s. The past year’s council tax precept for the town council’s element went up by 1.87 per cent.

Wiltshire Council’s cut in grant funding to parish councils by 35 per cent means the town council has lost £25,000.

Setting the budget and tax rise at a meeting on Thursday, town councillor Peter Evans said: “Although this increase in the council tax percentage wise seems high, the value for money is extremely good.”

Town councillors reviewed all expenditure but decided to maintain it at existing levels for services including town centre CCTV (£18,000), town centre management (£20,000), Christmas lights (£16,500), free use of council venues for Devizes Festival (£6,000) and Devizes Carnival (£2,000), free lettings at council venues (£7,000), grace and favour lettings at council venues (£3,500) and grants to Wiltshire Museum (£3,000) and Devizes Carnival (£5,000).

The council also has to undertake capital expenditure to refurbish Albion Place and has allocated £20,000, plus £13,680 on paving the Chequers garden.

The main council tax bill will be set by Wiltshire Council and added to that will also be the police and fire service’s precept.

The Gazette was given incorrect information in the story it ran last week about the rise in the council tax precept for Roundway Parish Council. The increase will be 6.8 per cent, not ten per cent.

Comments (1)

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12:52pm Mon 23 Dec 13

ace reporter says...

We need a Parish Boundary review to incorporate Roundway and Bisop Cannings plus Stert, Cannings Hill into Devizes. They all use the facilities in Devizes but pay nothing toward them. In this way any increase in Devizes precept would be minimised by the increased contributions from these outlying parishes. I thought Wiltshire were supposed to be following a localism agenda so why decrees parish precepts?
We need a Parish Boundary review to incorporate Roundway and Bisop Cannings plus Stert, Cannings Hill into Devizes. They all use the facilities in Devizes but pay nothing toward them. In this way any increase in Devizes precept would be minimised by the increased contributions from these outlying parishes. I thought Wiltshire were supposed to be following a localism agenda so why decrees parish precepts? ace reporter

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