Town council increases precept to fund crime and litter crackdown

The increase in precept will fund a crack down on crime and litter.

The increase in precept will fund a crack down on crime and litter. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Weston Town Council has agreed to increase its precept by 27 per cent to crack down on crime and antisocial behaviour and to pay for village orderlies.

At a town council meeting on Monday, the authority set its budget of £2,567,270 for the year ahead.

This means people living in a band D property will pay £98.37 for town council services next year - which works out at £1.89 per week.

Councillors agreed to add an extra £100,000 to their budget to pay for four village orderlies to tidy up cycle ways and footpaths and tackle litter hotspots.

Cllr Robert Payne said: "As a councillor the thing people grumble about the most are these types of issues and dog fouling.

"We know North Somerset Council does not have the money to do this as well as people would like it to be done.

"That's the advantage of having the town council, to do the things people want, so I'm very much in favour of this proposal."

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Councillors agreed a proposal by the Labour party to add an extra £50,000 to the budget to support crime prevention efforts.

Cllr Helen Thornton, who represents Uphill, said: "Following increasing reports about damage to town centre properties, we propose to increase the community services budget by £50,000 to take a more active role in supporting Avon and Somerset police to tackle crime and disorder in our town, to protect town council properties and support victims of crime."

Councillors discussed three options for the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) - closing the facility, cutting its funding by £50,000 and keeping expenditure the same as last year.

Cllr Peter Crew stressed the VIC should remain open as it supports a number of businesses as well as town council assets including the Blakehay Theatre, Weston Museum and the water park.

Members agreed to reduce its funding by £50,000 to enable it to remain open.

The town council allocated extra funding to Citizens Advice North Somerset to enable the charity to support more people in need in the town.

The authority has also allowed for a lower budget requirement for the water park to introduce a new discount scheme for residents using local facilities.