Increase to town council precept gains backing to improve services and events

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 January 2020

Portishead Town Council chairman Paul Gardner, Sarah Jackson, Nicky Mills, Jo Swift and Cllr Bob Bull. Picture: Portishead Town Council

Portishead Town Council chairman Paul Gardner, Sarah Jackson, Nicky Mills, Jo Swift and Cllr Bob Bull. Picture: Portishead Town Council

Portishead Town Council

Portishead Town Council has increased its precept to better fund services in the area.

People can to see a rise of 95p to the precept a week, from 50p to £1.45, for Band D homes in town.

This equates to people paying £75.40 a year in precept money, which is added on to council tax bills in the area.

The increase will go towards funding infrastructure, community development, the environment and replenishing 'depleted' reserves. The funds will also go towards sports and amenities, crime and safety and having an 'open and transparent council' in Portishead.

Portishead Town Council chairman Paul Gardner said: "This is not a town council budget, it is a budget set by residents who have, for the first time, had the opportunity to tell us what they wanted."

People living in town were invited to take part in a six-week consultation, which ended on January 14, and nearly 75 per cent of those who voted opted for option three, for Portishead to have a 'first-class' council.

The option encompassed points of both option one and two, to support events such as Portishead in Bloom, the carnival and Christmas lights, as well as 'possibly' buying land to preserve green spaces in town, plus other initiatives.

Paul continued: "People have told us to fight bad housing developments, to improve infrastructure, to help combat crime, as well as conserve our environment, support community groups, to build better amenities and to help young people and improve facilities and services.

"Above all, they have told us to invest in and support our fantastic community to ensure that Portishead embraces the 21st Century, while retaining its identity as a town that everyone is proud to call home."

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.

However, at the meeting on January 15, one Portishead resident warned that a substantial increase to the precept would put some people 'at a stretch' to afford their bills.

For more information, visit www.portishead.gov.uk

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