Bridgnorth Town Council voted to increase the local council tax by £9.14 for the year (equating to around 18p extra/week) for the average house (for those in a band d rated property) in the town. This is an 6.5% increase over the previous year. The tax (or precept) will be included in the overall council tax charges levied by Shropshire Council which has yet to finalise its budget for 2022/2023.
Explaining the increase, the Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor Karen Sawbridge said: “Councillors spent many hours trying to find the right balance between maintaining a good standard of our services at an acceptable level, bearing in mind the associated cost of doing so, given the much higher rate of inflation currently being experienced, most notably with utility cost hikes, the increase in the living wage and higher NI rates. The funding which Bridgnorth Town Council has available to them is derived from a mixture of the precept (paid to us by Shropshire Council) and the income from facilities such as the car park, buildings etc. But we can also dip into our reserves, as we have done so, during the past few years. Again, we have chosen to use some of the reserves to keep the increase down, but we cannot do that every year, because it’s both sensible and prudent to have savings for future (and generally unexpected) needs. However, we know that Covid has affected many residents’ income in recent times and took this into consideration, keeping the minimum increase to what we believed was the absolute lowest it could sensibly be.
“We are fully aware that we have to spend every pound wisely and we are constantly looking for every opportunity to reduce costs and operate as efficiently as possible, however our standards costs (e.g. insurance, fuel bills, maintenance contracts and replacing equipment) are being driven up by many of the same factors as individual households. We feel that this increase is reasonable and will allow us to provide the service local residents require.”