Axminster precept rise kept to less than two per cent to help hard-pressed residents

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Axminster Town Council plans to increase its spending by less than two per cent next year.

Its precept – the amount it needs to raise from council taxpayers - is set to rise from £135,500 to £137,083.

Mayor Andrew Moulding told The Herald that in setting the budget they had been mindful of the tough economic pressures facing many residents.

He said: “Members of the town council carefully considered how the precept should be set for the year. Councillors were particularly mindful of the difficult economic situation and wished to safeguard residents against any significant increase in the parish element of the council tax.

“For this reason, proposed works to council owned assets were assessed with the pockets of local residents in mind. In some cases, schemes will be programmed over more than one financial year to keep the annual costs to a minimum.

“The town council considers that the proposed small increase in the precept for the forthcoming financial year is fair to residents and well within government recommendations.”

Spending on special projects next year will include £3,000 for works at the cemetery and a similar amount for new machinery. A further £500 will be set aside to build up a fund for the management of the cemetery field until such time as it is taken in as part of the burial area.

This will enable proper hedging to be planted between the cemetery field and the former Millwey Rise playing field which, the council understands, will be developed for housing within the next few years.

A sum, of £15,000 will be used to cover the heating system and other items at The Guildhall and £3,000 will be allocated to build up a fund for carrying out the long awaited traffic survey in the town in a bid to resolve some of the congestion problems in the centre.

A further £7,000 will be used for works to the roof and exterior of the Old Courthouse.

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