Another rise set for Petworth council tax payers

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PETWORTH town councillors have been warned they will need to make tough decisions when they discuss their budget at the next full meeting.

Chairman of the council Chris Kemp told fellow members: “We need to be comfortable with the budget when we make our precept in January.”

He said the bottom line was looking like another 28 per cent added to the precept for the town if town councillors were to carry out projects they hoped to achieve.

Among the items he wanted to include, he said, was a sum for schemes recommended by the council’s traffic consultant.

“It’s sensible to put money in next year to start carrying out some of his recommendations.”

He said town councillors dropped their final figures last year in an attempt to make the budget ‘more palatable’ for council tax payers in the town.

It meant there was an increase of 50 per cent in the town’s council tax in 2014-2015. “We have to feel comfortable that we can justify the rise,” he told councillors, “and with a bit of luck, by the time we get to April (when the new council tax bills are payable) we will have put in two play parks, possibly a skate park and other bits and pieces.”

Mr Kemp added: “If we don’t look at the budget sensibly we will sit around for another 12 months because we have no money to do anything.”

He warned councillors would have to be able to justify the council tax rise to parishioners.

He said the finance and general purposes committee had already cut back the proposed budget from a possible 45 per cent increase.

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