Plans to tackle Big Society projects divide Midhurst town councillors

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Plans to increase spending to tackle Big Society projects in Midhurst have divided town councillors.

At a meeting of the finance committee, members revealed their draft budget which proposes a 4.09 per cent increase in spending, adding £1.77 to the average council tax payer’s bill in Midhurst.

Among the items included is £4,000 to pay for expert help in assessing any possible buildings if the town council decides to go ahead with a plan to relocate its offices to provide community space.

The proposed increase would take Midhurst town council’s slice of the tax cake to £44.99 for an average band D taxpayer.

The average total tax bill, including much larger slices taken by the county and district councils, is currently £1472.35.

Some councillors felt the tax hike was necessary to continue providing vital services for Midhurst residents, but others felt it was a step too far in dire economic times when people were looking to cut back on their own spending.

Vice-chairman John Quilter told fellow councillors they faced a changing role. The county and district council were withdrawing services which they would have to take on if Midhurst residents felt they were vital.

For full story and details of the proposed budget see Midhurst and Petworth Observer (December 15)