Warminster Town Council Approves Budget For 2017 - 2018

Tuesday 17th January 2017:

Warminster Town Council approves budget for 2017–2018

Members of Warminster Town Council have prepared and debated the proposed budget for 2017–2018 over the course of four meetings, with the final budget being approved at Full Council on 16th January 2017.

With the transfer of assets to the Town Council from Wiltshire Council, costs to manage these have involved increased expenditure. The table below gives an indication of just some of the annual costs to the Council of having taken on the Lake Pleasure Grounds (Town Park) and its public toilets and the public toilets in the Central Car Park.

In order to provide sufficient funds to cover this significant additional expenditure the new budget has been set at £552,612, representing an overall increase of 5.86% (£35,287). For Band D properties this amounts to an annual contribution of £93.81, which is an increase of £6.64 (7.62%). The weekly contribution for Band D will be £1.80 as compared to £1.67 last year.

It is evident from feedback from residents that the improvements to the park and taking on the public toilets have been warmly welcomed and it is hoped that Council Tax payers will understand the need for this level of increase to enable the maintenance of these assets to be carried out to a high standard.

The Council has prepared and saved earmarked reserves to carry out some of the investment work required in the park and have spent £50,000 on work needed immediately such as:

repairs to the paddling pool, 

repairs to the play equipment and subsequent painting,

repairs to the lake,

rebuilding the bank to the Swan River,

reinstating the putting green,

and creating a composting area.

However, there is still much to do to achieve the standards of facilities in the park that users would like to see.

Future plans include assisting with the provision of a new skate park, for which funds in the region of £200,000 will need to be raised, and re-establishing the tennis courts in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association who should assist with match funding. These will cost £128,000 for a major upgrade.

Mayor Councillor Paul Macfarlane said: “There are exciting times ahead for the park, but needless to say these improvements will come at a cost. We hope our residents appreciate the need to ensure that the town has sufficient funds to develop and improve this wonderful asset.”