Service cost rise to put £2 on bills

PUBLISHED: 09:27 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:40 31 May 2010

Saffron Walden Town Hall

Saffron Walden Town Hall

THE cost of services provided by Saffron Walden Town Council will rise by about two percent in the next financial year. Councillors ruled out the possibility of reducing the tax bill and instead opted for a modest rise to the 2009/10 budget. The tow

THE cost of services provided by Saffron Walden Town Council will rise by about two percent in the next financial year.

Councillors ruled out the possibility of reducing the tax bill and instead opted for a modest rise to the 2009/10 budget.

The town council's precept has been set at £556,725 - an increase of £11,000 from 2008/9.

Cllr Heather Mason said: "We know there is a recession on and that financially people are hard pushed, but they will complain if services are not made available."

In real terms, a family living in a band D property will see about £2 per year added to the household bill. In 2008/09, a band D household paid £92.17 towards the town council precept.

Higher increases to the precept were suggested, but councillors opted to keep the rise to a minimum by using £23,000 from the council's reserves.

Cllr Keith Eden said it would not be wise to reduce the council's funds any further, saying: "In this financial climate we don't know what we will have to find a contingency for. We need to be flexible and find a half-way house to reducing our balances."

So what will the town council spend our money on? Big projects for the next financial year include £45,000 for the redevelopment of the Tourist Information Centre and £15,000 for work at the Anglo-American Memorial Playing Fields.

Other hefty bills include £21,000 for the town's Christmas lights; more than £30,000 in grants to charities including Uttlesford Citizens' Advice Bureau and Uttlesford Cross Roads; almost £10,000 to run the CCTV network; and £4500 towards maintenance of the skate park.

In previous council meetings it had been decided to drop an expensive project to install a lift and new boilers in the town hall, which would have cost a total of £90,000.

DO YOU AGREE WITH HOW THE COUNCIL IS SPENDING YOUR MONEY? Let us know by emailing alistair.nelson@archant.co.uk

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