Shropshire Star

Councillors to discuss council tax precept rise of 4 per cent in Market Drayton

Town councillors are meeting tonight to discuss a possible council tax precept rise of four per cent.

Market Drayton Town Hall

Market Drayton Town Councillors will discuss 2022/23's budget and finances at tonight's full council meeting, due to an increase in budget of 0.27 per cent from last year's.

In the Draft Budget and Precept for Market Drayton Town Council 2022-23, the council is proposing a 4.114 per cent increase in council tax to cover the budget shortfall.

In the financial year 2021/22 the budget was £581,504. For the coming year, it is £583,076 – an increase of £1,572.

This is an increase of 0.27 per cent on last year's budget.

To accommodate this, the council is proposing a 4.114 per cent increase in council tax. This would be an increase of £5.12 from £124.48 to £129.60 per annum for a band D property.

Last year, the council agreed on no increase to the precept, and the money was instead taken from general reserves.

Councillor Roy Aldcroft, the mayor of Market Drayton, said the decision was still dependent on what happens with the county council's budget.

Senior officials at Shropshire Council recently warned that more cuts will be needed to county council services with up to 85 per cent of all disposable funding now being spent only on care services.

Councillor Aldcroft said: "Our decision depends on what is decided at Shropshire Council's meeting on Thursday, before ours in the evening.

"This will effect our decision and we will have to take it from there. The council will be revisiting anything we are charging for and reviewing our services.

"It minimises the effect of the government's negligence in not providing us with a suitable funding to deal with the amount of people needing adult and social care in the county."

Shropshire Council’s cabinet has been warned that 97 per cent of rate payers will find themselves paying more money for reduced services.

The council’s chief financial officer described the situation with government funding as “unsustainable”, while Councillor Gwilym Butler, the authority’s cabinet member for resources, said “things have to change”.

During a meeting of the council’s cabinet, Councillor Butler warned of the impact of the council’s £50m ‘structural funding gap’ – the difference between the amount it has and the amount it needs.

Councillor Butler has warned that highways, rubbish collections, swimming pools, libraries, and other services, could all face cuts.

Councillor Aldcroft added: "There is considerable disdain I would say at the amount of funds Shropshire Council has been allocated by the government.

"There may be some tough decisions to be made later in the year, but for now there haven't been any significant statements made.

"If ministers down in London were not so busy protecting their backs with the Covid party allegations then they could actually give Shropshire a better deal. The council is talking to MPs and government about the budget."

The meeting starts at 7.30pm in the Town Hall or via a streaming link.

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