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Council tax to rise by average of £2.30 each month in Newport

Newport | Politics | Published:

Council tax will rise by an average of about £2.30 each month in Newport from the next financial year.

Newport Town Council's Guildhall. Pic: Google Street View

The precept budget approved by Newport Town Council is nearly £21,000 more in 2020/21 than in 2019/20.

The council's part of the council tax bill will be increased by 1.99 per cent, or about £2.32 for a band D property, and will go towards a variety of services.

That will be used towards funding things such as the cemetery, public toilets, maintenance of footpaths, as well as funding for town events.

There are also plans by Telford & Wrekin Council to increase their portion of council tax by 3.99 per cent – an extra £40 a year for the average Band B home.

John Campion, police and crime commissioner for West Mercia, also plans to increase his portion of the bill, but an amount has not yet been confirmed. He is currently consulting on a 50p a month increase, along with other options.

Councillor Peter Scott, the town's mayor, said the town council's portion of the increase was reasonable.

"Nobody wants to see their council tax increased, but I think we've been fair," he said.

Value

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"We've looked at it in great detail. We haven't taken any increase lightly. We're hoping that people will realise what they are getting for their money.

"It's a reasonable increase that'll enable us to give the services that we do. It was a unanimous decision.

"When I first came on the council about 10 years ago, we were trying to keep it down to the zero increase. It felt great to say there was no increase, but we quickly found we had to come up with a very large increase.

"This keeps it low without being massive."

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Councillor Scott asked people to look at the various services the council provides to understand how vital council tax funding is.

"We continue to give value to money," he said.

"You only have to look at the Christmas lights, which everyone enjoys but it costs to keep it improving. Newport in Bloom gets money from us. People enjoy the flowers, but they don't know where some of the money comes from.

"Look on the Newport Town Council website and see what the council's responsibilities are. We also pay towards the carnival and to all events in the town. This year we're giving money to the Food Frenzy for the first time. We believe that this is what people want in the town – to see regular events and enjoy them. They don't come out of thin air - they have to be paid for.

"We have taken months to get this right. We don't take on things we can't afford. We don't take on things that people may not want us to do. We try very hard to be fair."

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