Swaffham town council agrees 5.6 per cent tax rise

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Swaffham residents will pay 5.6 per cent more for town council services this year after the authority’s precept for the coming financial year was set this week.

The increase, which was passed by seven votes to two at a meeting on Monday, equates to an extra £8.21 on annual bills for an average band D property.

The measure will raise the town council’s portion of overall tax bills to £154.99 at band D during the 2018-19 financial year.

Town mayor Jill Skinner said: “The town council have again done their best for the town, as we approach the final year before the elections in May 2019.

“This budget gives us a chance to finish off many of the projects we have already started and lay a solid foundation for a new council coming in, it is about getting the balance right.”

In total, the council set a precept of £393,500, up almost £36,000 on the previous year.

Officials say around a quarter of the increase covers a reduction in the council tax support grant paid to the town council, while the rest is taken up with increases in staff salaries and the purchase of new maintenance equipment.

Town clerk Richard Bishop said: “The budget is always an exhausting process, as Councillors make some difficult decisions for the year ahead, to deliver the services needed without overtaxing the council taxpayer.

“It was disappointing that not one member of the general public attended the Budget meeting, arguably the most important meeting of the year.”