Shrewsbury council tax going up to tackle climate change
Shrewsbury householders will be facing a rise in their council tax in a bid to combat climate change.
Shrewsbury Town Council meets on Monday night and, acting on recommendations from the finance and general purposes (F&GP) committee, is proposing a new precept for 2020/21 equivalent to £60.25 for band D council tax payers.
However, 55 per cent of the town's residents are band B or below where the increase is a maximum £7.81 to £46.86, or 15p a week.
Council leader Alan Mosley said: “I am delighted that the F&GP accepted my proposal for a budget which will continue ongoing initiatives to extend and improve our services and make Shrewsbury an even better place to live, work and visit.
"An increase in our precept will cover inflation and lead to further work on footpaths and cycle routes, enhance our open spaces, support attraction such as the Christmas lights and potentially a Knife Angel booking."
The council aims to set up an advisory group to work with outside bodies on tackling climate change. Councillor Mosley hopes this will inspire other businesses, councils and groups both in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and further afield to follow their example.
He said: "A crucial feature is that the budget will create a designated fund of £250,000 specifically for measures to play our part in responding to the climate emergency.
"We are already committed to carbon neutrality by 2030 but we will move more quickly while serving as an exemplar for other councils, businesses and residents throughout the area and beyond. In doing so we will involve the public and interested parties by setting up a climate advisory group to harness local expertise.”
The recommendation was seconded by Councillor David Vasmer, who said: “We are continuing to invest in Shrewsbury and improve services whilst reducing our carbon footprint. For example, we recently celebrated the completion of a project to renew the artificial football pitch at Monkmoor Rec, including new LED lighting and fencing, which was included in last year’s budget.
"This is an exciting time for the town council. As well as improving public facilities in Shrewsbury and working towards carbon neutrality, we want to investigate how we can help improve existing festivals and events whilst encouraging more to set up in our unique and historic town.”