'Unavoidable' hike in town council tax announced
PUBLISHED: 10:26 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 01 March 2019
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Lowestoft residents face an 'unavoidable' council tax hike after a town council have announced its precept will rise by almost 10pc.
For a band A property in the town, the increase will total £8.31 per year, or 16p per week, while a band D property will face an increase of £12.47 per year, or 24p per week.
In total, the council’s precept will rise by 9.62pc.
A spokesperson for Lowestoft Town Council said: “A considerable amount of time and money has had to be spent on determining the condition of buildings and making repairs and improvements where possible.
“At the start of this budgeting process, the sums identified to carry out the immediate repairs would have resulted in a 46pc increase in the precept. After months of work to identify savings and different ways of financing expenditure, this was reduced by over two thirds.”
Every element of the expenditure will be subject to individual project plans and costings, with residents to be consulted on whether loans should be sought for relevant projects.
Town mayor, Councillor Ian Graham, said: “We are delighted that we have already been able to improve many assets under our care.
“Play areas, such as those at Normanston Park and Stoven Close have seen major improvements. We created a beautiful memorial garden and helped deliver successful events in our open spaces in the town.
“Our Town Hall has had some emergency repairs and we anticipate that we will be progressing a viability study on its future shortly.
“The Marina Theatre is now more secure owing to our purchase of the Box Office Building and we will be investing to keep the main Theatre fit for purpose.
“We made use of our leisure facilities free in 2018/19 and we were greatly encouraged by the major impact this had on usage.
“We are looking at new ways to incentivise improvements in use and facilities through working with the Clubs in 2019/20.
“Although we are faced with an unavoidable increase in the precept, in real terms the figures are low compared to the impact of the bigger budgets of Councils such as Waveney District Council. The Town Council is focused solely on delivery benefits for Lowestoft.”