The cost of living in Marlborough will increase by £10.49 for every Band D household Council Tax bill-payer next year. An increase of 4.9% over this year’s £224.11.
At last night’s extra-ordinary meeting of the full Town Council Councillors voted to set the Precept for 2022/23, making next year’s Band D household Precept £234.60.
Why? General inflationary pressures. Some special items (such as biodiversity work on The Common) will be taken from Earmarked Reserves (EMRs) rather than from Precept income so as to keep the increase down, and similarly other necessary expenditures that may arise – such as Town Hall repairs and the new Cemetery will be funded by the same means.
Fuel costs are affecting us all and the Town Council aren’t exempt from the significant increases, particularly in the cost of gas. Staffing costs will also rise, yet to be agreed but consistent with Local Government Pay increases elsewhere,
The costs of the forthcoming Queens Platinum Jubilee is included in the next year’s Precept.
Overall the rate of increase is greater than for last year (3.75%) but the forecast inflation this time in 2021 was much less, and no-one had foreseen the massive rise in the cost of gas, fuel in general and other costs such as transport, raw materials etc. which all work through to the cost of just about everything going up.
Councillor Jane Davis asked that planning and consideration be carried out now for the likely budgeting in ensuing years as a way to keep increases as manageable (and foreseeable) as possible whilst asking questions about every line in the budget, not just for now but in future years as well. Just as any significant and aware business would be doing.
No significant anticipated opportunity for income to increase other than an anticipated small increase from Cemetery income, and it was explained by Cllr Andy Ross, Chair of the Finance committee that it wasn’t possible to increase rents and fees etc. at this stage as renewal/renegotiation points happened during the year itself.
How will the increase in Marlborough’s Precept compare with other similar Towns in the County? Not possible to say, yet as Precept levels are still awaiting agreement and confirmation elsewhere.