The Town Council agreed on an increase to its element of Council Tax by just under 10%. Faced with the prospect of having to pay for public services that will be cut or reduced by Taunton Deane Borough and Somerset Council Councils the Town Council decided at its budget meeting to increase its tax to ensure that it had sufficient reserves to meet these anticipated extra demands and provide local residents with the services they want.
Councillors agreed to put up the Town Council tax by £2.45 per year for Band D properties from April 2015 taking the annual total up to £27.40. The Town Council is only a small proportion of the overall council tax bill.
Due to final decisions yet to be made by the Council Council or Taunton Deane the Council must put a significant some aside in order to pay for any extra services should the Town Council wish to take them on.
Wellington will still have the lowest precept for any town council in Somerset and far lower than some parish councils.
The Town Council’s ability to raise funds may be limited in the future, it is therefore essential to make sure that any services the people of Wellington wanted providing in the town, could be. Currently as it is some services in the town would be completely stopped if the Town Council did not support them. One such example is the Youth Service.
The Finance Committee reported that it had met TDBC Cllr Catherine Herbert, the portfolio holder for sports, parks and leisure, who said she would like to begin discussions with the town council about the possibility of devolving the mamahement of facilities such as the playing field, recreation ground and the Dobree Park playin fiend in Rockwell Green to the Town Council.
It was reported that the Council Tax Support Grant from TDBC would be reduced by 10% to £13,770 and that it was very unlikely that this grant would be paid in future years.
The Town Council’s precept for 2015-16 of £122,816 includes £46,000 for salaries, £27,000 for devolved services, £15,000 for grants, £12,000 for Christmas Lights, £7,500 for youth action, £6,000 for the promotion of Wellington, £5,000 for elections £5,000 for Youth Council, £3,000 for councillors allowances, £2,000 for collection of dog waste, £2,000 for community safety and £2,500 for all insurances.
In regards to income £20,000 is estimated from TDBC for public conveniences – if Wellington Town Council take over the running of Wellington’s public toilets. £7,000 is also estimated to be received from TDBC for festive illuminations