Precept set to increase in Portishead after bankruptcy warning from councillor
PUBLISHED: 14:04 15 January 2020
Portishead Town Council
Portishead Town Council is due to announce an increase to its precept at a meeting tonight (Wednesday).
Fears about the authority's future has prompted its new administration to address concerns about how to better fund services in town through increasing its precept funds.
Chairman of the council's finance and staffing committee, Bob Bull, said at a meeting in November that if the administration carries on spending 'more than it brings in' it will go 'bankrupt' and that an increase to the precept can 'rectify' the issue.
Shortly after the meeting, people living in town were invited to complete an online survey, which closed earlier this month after a six-week consultation.
The questionnaire outlined the precept increase and ways it could better fund and improve services in the area, which would raise the amount from 50p up to £1.60 per week.
Chairman of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner, said: "We have had a fantastic response to our public consultation and have had 776 responses sent in.
"The feedback so far suggests people want to pay a higher precept amount for better services in town."
Option one would work to keep the town's street lights on, replenish 'depleted' reserves, support groups such as Portishead in Bloom, the Christmas lights and the youth centre.
It would also run services like planning, allotments and waste and the precept would rise from 50p up to 70-80p a week.
Option two outlines the categories of choice one, as well as supporting events like Portishead Carnival and Citizen's Advice, including funding one community project a year.
It would also secure the maintenance of children's play area equipment in town and the council would hire a parking enforcement officer, which would cost between £1-£1.20 per week.
Option three encompasses points of option two, as well as creating a fund to tackle 'bad developments', including buying land to preserve green spaces in Portishead.
It would create grants for community groups, as well as fund improving community facilities, which would cost between £1.30-£1.60 per week.
The town council will meet at Folk Hall, in High Street, tonight at 7.30pm.