Precept to rise in Alnwick due to extra costs

Alnwick Town Council is to take on responsibility for the town's fingerposts.
Alnwick Town Council is to take on responsibility for the town's fingerposts.

Alnwick Town Council voted to increase its precept by close to £23,000 next year – but it will only represent a £9-a-year hike for residents.

At its meeting last Thursday, the authority agreed to raise its share of the overall council-tax bill by £22,885 in 2017/18. This equates to an annual increase of £8.59 per band D property (16.5p per week).

The rise will help fund an additional £3,000 on providing replacement equipment in the town’s toilets, an additional £1,150 to support town events, £3,500 to produce a promotional tourism leaflet, an additional £985 for floral planting and £2,000 towards the cost of repairs to the war memorial.

An additional £4,000 has been earmarked towards the delivery of economic development activity with local businesses (see Page 54 for details of the inaugural event).

The town council also agreed to take over the ownership and responsibility of the fingerpost signage, which are in need of refurbishment, from the county council; £7,000 has been earmarked.

Plus, the council anticipates starting the installation of a new CCTV system in April and a budget of £5,000 has been created for maintenance and replacement costs.

Mayor of Alnwick, Alan Symmonds, said: “Our budget has been carefully considered and while we are able to absorb some additional costs, our increases next year arise from taking on new responsibilities and the desire and need to improve the town’s infrastructure and give further assistance to local organisations.”

The total precept for 2017/18 will be £267,138, which for a band D dwelling will be just over £100 a year, likely to be close to the town-council average in Northumberland.