Warminster Town Council Has Approved Its Budget For 2018-2019

Tuesday 23rd January 2018:

Warminster Town Council Has Approved Its Budget For 2018-2019

Members of Warminster Town Council have prepared and debated the proposed budget for 2018–2019 over the course of four meetings, with the final budget being approved at Full Council on 23rd January 2018.

Members were made aware in the autumn that Wiltshire Council would no longer be maintaining play areas. There are nine in Warminster that the Town Council would need to consider taking on, in addition to other services which are likely to be reduced or withdrawn. In order to provide sufficient funds to cover this significant additional expenditure, the new budget has been set at £749,012. For Band D properties this will mean an annual contribution of £124.13, amounting to an increase of 58p per week or £30.32 per annum. Bands A–C will pay proportionally less, and Bands E–H proportionally more.

It has not been an easy decision for members to make, but the increase is caused entirely by the impact of services being devolved and/or discontinued by Wiltshire Council. However, it has been widely acknowledged that the improvements the Town Council has made in the Lake Pleasure Grounds (Town Park) since taking it on have been amazing in such a short time. These continue to be much appreciated by users of all ages. The increase in funds will give the Town Council further opportunities to provide enhanced services and facilities in the town for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

Councillor Pip Ridout, Chairman of Warminster Town Council’s Finance and Assets Committee, said: “I feel that this is the right decision; it allows us the opportunity to protect our play areas for the young people and to look at making provision to take on all the other services that could come over in future years. I am encouraged by the enormous support and compliments the Town Council have had for the work we have already done in the park. This will enable us to do more for the town and make sure standards are improved.”

Councillor Ridout’s view was endorsed by Town Councillor Chris Robbins, Vice Chairman of the Finance and Assets Committee. “I have liaised closely with Councillor Ridout and Councillor Brett, Chairman of the Devolved Services and Assets Sub-Committee, and listened to the choices. I think it is very sensible to make financial provision for taking on some services next year and in the future. This course of action supports the Town Council’s Strategic Plan for 2016–2021.”