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Oswestry council budget could save youth services

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | News | Published:

Youth services in Oswestry may be saved by the town council, as part of its budget for the coming year.

The move would see The Centre building in Oak Street retained for young people, after the decision by Shropshire Council to step away from funding young clubs.

A report to the budget meeting today says the council has identified £35,000 of savings and new monies to commission the provision of open access young services in the town, from The Centre.

One of the savings could come from changes to provision at the Oswestry visitor and exhibition centre.

While the council looks like allocating £100,000 of capital funding to refurbish the building, councillors will go into private session to discussion proposed changes to facilities at the visitors and exhibition centre in the grounds of St Oswald's Parish church. The budget report says that adjustments to the budget for the visitor and exhibition centre would make savings utilised to fund youth services.

"Due to its listed building status and its timber frame nature, repair and maintenance costs continue to be generally high," the report says of the visitor centre.

Other savings are suggested from reducing the budget for the Guildhall and archives from £20,000 to £15,000, and a reduction in the election expenses.

The budget report says that, as well as providing £35,000 towards youth services, the aim of the town council would maintain a free resource budget of £20,000 and provide a £5,000 budget for commissioning activities for young people.

"Based on information gathered from potential provides and some financial assessments considered to date, the council could provide twice as much as the existing provision and secure additional outreach work," the report says.

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The council's capital budget of £555,000 for the coming 12 months would include the visitor centre refurbishment, £200,000 towards the refurbishment of Central car park, £25,000 for street lighting, £5,000 for CCTV replacement. Other funding to be considered included £100,000 for a workshop extension and £125,000 towards the Horsemarket Ramp.

Councillors will be told that the budget has been prepared based on raising a precept of £416,000 which would require an increase on the 19/20 precept of two per cent. This would mean an increase in the town council precept on the council tax from £74.24 a year to £78.07 a year.

A three per cent increase would give a precept of £420,000 and mean an extra 73p a year increase.

The meeting will be held at the Guildhall at 7pm.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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