Parking warden and fund to tackle 'bad development' - things Portishead could have if tax increases

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 November 2019

Money. Picture: Getty Images

Money. Picture: Getty Images

Archant

A parking warden, money to buy land and a fund to fight 'bad development' could be available to Portishead, if increases to its precept are supported.

Portishead Town Council will host a meeting at the Folk Hall, in High Street, on November 20 at 7.30pm to kick off a six-week public consultation on its finances.

The precept is the portion of council tax collected and spent in Portishead, currently set at £26 per year for a band D house.

That figure has been labelled 'dangerously low' by Cllr Caritas Charles, who accused his predecessors - the vast majority of whom were replaced in May's election - of 'financial vandalism' after the town council revealed it expects to lose £50,000 over a two-year period.

Town council chairman Paul Gardner said: "In Portishead we pay 50p per week per Band D household as our precept.

"For comparison, the precept in Clevedon is 90p and it is £1.43 in Yatton, £1.47 in Weston and £1.48 in Nailsea, which enables those towns to provide more services."

The town council has vowed it will increase the precept in next year's budget to replenish its reserves - but the amount it increases is down to the public.

People will be presented with three options: an 'economy' council, and 'economy plus council' or a 'first-class council'.

The economy level will see a small increase in the precept, which will see 'depleted reserves slowly replenished' and support for community groups like Portishead In Bloom and the town's youth centre remain static.

Under the economy plus measure, there will be a slightly larger increase to enable spending on 'one community project per year' and support events such as the carnival. This option could also see money available to modernise the town's CCTV system and pay for a parking enforcement officer.

The first-class option would bring the benefits of the other levels, in addition to creating a 'fighting fund to tackle bad development' and the ability to purchase parcels of land to preserve green spaces, but at an increased cost.

Cllr Gardner added: "There's no cap on precept rises but the Government may change this, so now could be the chance to set it at a level which will fund the services we believe Portishead deserves."

People unable to attend the meeting can send questions to the council by emailing admin@portishead.gov.uk by January 3.

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