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Town’s tax up by 5%


Council taxpayers living in Newark will pay 5% more for services provided by the town council this year.

The council’s projected net expenditure is £818,885, of which £811,800 will come from council tax.

The rest will come from revenue balances and income such as allotment rents and rental fees from the Town Hall.

The increase means the parish rate will increase from £92.47 to £97.09 for Band D properties from April 1.

The chairman of the finance and policy committee, Mr Max Cope (Con) said he would not explain the budget papers at a meeting of the council on Wednesday, but recommended it be approved.

The councillors passed the budget.

The three Independents, Mrs Gill Dawn, Mrs Irene Brown and Helen Gent abstained.

Mrs Dawn, the leader of the Independent group, said it was difficult to respond to a speech that had not taken place but said the Independents were not going to offer an alternative budget.

She said: “Usually we have been more than happy to support your budget. I congratulate staff on their hard work and we all appreciate how difficult it is, but we cannot support the budget this year.

“A rise of 5% is too much.”

She said people who were paying an increase in council tax expected an increase in services.

Mrs Dawn said she was often asked about when the Christmas lights were going to improve, where the hanging baskets and litter bins were and when the town’s festival would return.

She said: “They cannot see an improvement at all.”

Mrs Dawn said none of the money the council received from the sale of allotment land at Lincoln Road in 2004 had been spent on the Yorke Drive area.

She said the council should consider providing £1,000 towards a third security camera on Yorke Drive.

Mr Cope said the council’s budget had been reduced for the past seven years.

He said: “You throw out criticism that we have not done this or that, but you offer nothing in response.”

Mr Cope said the money from the sale of the Lincoln Road allotments had been used and would continue to be used on a range of projects.

Mrs Marika Tribe (Con) offered to donate £1,000 from her district councillor’s allowance for a new security camera on Yorke Drive.

Mr John Clark (Lab) said he would ensure an alternative budget was presented next year.

The town council’s portion of council tax will be added to tax set by Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s portion of council tax is likely to increase by 3% from April to help pay for increasing costs of its services.

That would cost a household in Band A an extra £22.50 a year, Band B £26.24 a year and a Band D home £33.74 a year. A decision will be made on Thursday.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is due to set its council tax levels in March.

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