Council begins its budget setting process

Oswestry's householders could be asked to pay £3.23 a year more on the local portion of their council tax bills while motorists may face the first increase in car park charges for 10 years in plans revealed in the town council's budget report.

Oswestry Guildhall.jpg.
Oswestry Guildhall.jpg.

The draft budget will be presented to the finance committee on Monday and if voted for be put to the full council. It looks at setting the precept on top of Shropshire Council's bill.

As part of the council's budget and medium term financial plan councillors will also look at its reserves and balances, which includes the £4 million windfall money the council received as part of the deal that saw Morrison's build a new supermarket on part of the livestock market land.

The draft, medium term plan suggests utilising reserves to fund capital infrastructure projects and would see the town council reduce its reserves and balances to £1.5million by the end of the 2025/26.

Expenditure suggestions being put to the committee include setting up at £25,000 sustainable transport budget, £15,000 for a rickshaw project for Oswestry and retaining the free pre Christmas bus travel trialled last year.

Youth services would also get new funding, with an addition £17,000 investment that would include money for a youth forum and funding for mental health support services.

There would also be £10,000 set aside for tackling neglected areas, dealing with litter, dog fouling and graffiti and £20,000 for a new music event.

The town council runs three of Oswestry's car parks and the report, by the town clerk and the finance officer says: "The budget sets an income target for car parking fees and charges which requires an increase in charges.

"Increasing, as one-off, car parking fees - after 10 years - would generate additional income."

Suggested increased include rises on the main central car park from 50p - £1 for up to an hour and from £1 to £1.50 for one to two hours. However the charges for longer parking on Central car park would remain unchanged.

Other increases would be 3 per cent on all fees and charges and an increase of five per cent on cemetery fees and charges.

If the recommendations in the report are approved by the committee and then the council, in 2022/23 the precept on the council tax for Band D payers would be £83.65 a year, an increase of £3.23 on last year.

This would bring in £448,000 for the town council.

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