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AT a meeting of Melksham Town Council held on 13th January it was agreed to set the precept (the proportion of council tax payable to the town council) at a figure of £371,110.
This means that the precept of a Band D property will be £86.87 per year, an increase of £17.08 per year or £1.42 per month.
The need to increase the precept to this extent has come about as a result of changes in government funding which has meant less monies coming from Wiltshire Council. Any support grant from Wiltshire Council will be significantly reduced further next year and will disappear completely over the next three years.
Moreover, there are concerns that the ability of town and parish councils to raise monies through the precept will be capped in future years, which will place a further strain on the ability of the town council to operate effectively and provide the scope and level of services that it currently offers.
The revised precept will enable the town council to position itself on a financially viable and sustainable footing that will ensure that it is able to operate effectively in the future. Any support grant monies received from Wiltshire Council will be used to fund necessary projects, most notably the assembly hall, where refurbishment works within the next two years will enhance the venue’s appearance, infrastructure and offering for the community to enjoy.
The town council regrets the need to increase the council tax burden on local residents but feels that, in the circumstances, it has no alternative in order to ensure that it can continue to provide the current range of activities, facilities and services for the community.