A statement from the Town Council gives details of its 'precept' for the financial year that begins next month. The 'precept' is the amount of money the Council levies to cover its costs - which is added to the council tax level for Wiltshire Council and the other precepts for the police and fire and rescue services.
The Council has also issued an explanatory four-page leaflet on how the money is spent.
At its budget meeting of 21 February 2017, Wiltshire Council set its Council Tax for 2017/18 and collected alongside this are the precepts for Wiltshire Police, the Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Town and Parish Councils. The overall annual Council Tax for Marlborough’s Band D households is broken down as follows:
- Wiltshire Council £1,334.63
- Marlborough Town Council £182.67
- Wiltshire Police Authority £170.27
- Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service £ 70.59
Marlborough Town Council set its precept at an Extraordinary Town Council meeting on 16 January 2017. Each year it calculates the money it needs to provide services and any projects planned for the year ahead. Then it deducts what it expects to receive from income and external grants leaving a net amount. This sum, called the precept, is the amount collected by Wiltshire Council as a proportion of the total Council Tax paid by Marlborough households.
So for 2017/18 and for Band D households, the Town Council precept equates to an annual precept of £182.67 which represents a 16.55% increase. (The Town Council’s precept for 2016/17 was £156.72). The rise itself is equal to an increase of £25.94p or £2.16p a month or 50p a week and represents about 10.3% of the overall annual Council Tax collected by Wiltshire Council.
Town Mayor, Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton, said: “We realise that principal authorities like Wiltshire Council are receiving less and less from central government and are under enormous pressure to maintain proper levels of service for the care of our most vulnerable. That’s important. It’ll mean though that the Town Council needs to have the financial resilience to react when these decreases affect our community. In fact, they have already – we’ve all noticed that services such as verge cutting are provided at minimum standards or broken bins are not being replaced."
"In the last year we have taken on public toilets and are currently discussing the same for the Youth Centre at St Margaret’s Mead. We’ve also taken on more responsibility for signage and running of community events and may have to look at enhancing litter picking and grass cutting services as has already been done by other Wiltshire towns."
"We understand that any precept rise is not welcome, but we are faced with increasing overheads as well as the likely responsibility of additional assets, ones which are important for the town."
"If we are to be ready to do this we need to introduce this increase. We can’t stand by and watch the quality of Marlborough’s streets and services decline. We are clearly working towards doing more at a local level and should be able to offer value to the Council Tax payer and hope that we have their support.”