Low Holbeach council tax rise

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PARISH councillors say they have worked hard to keep this year’s precept as low as possible for Holbeach residents.

The parish council met on Monday night when it discussed how much money they need for this year’s precept – its part of the Council Tax.

Chairman Coun Terry Harrington said he would not be happy to endorse anything above a 1.5 per cent rise in the precept.

After debate the final figure was set at £160,226 – just 0.53 per cent higher than last year.

Each year the council considers monetary requests from its sub-committee chairmen for projects or expenses that they anticipate happening over the coming 12 months.

This year those expenses include more than £9,000 for Carter’s Park, including £2,000 for the tractor fund, £2,000 for the machinery fund and £1,500 for work on the Jubilee Shelter.

The cemetery will have £4,000 spent on it with £2,000 set aside for trees and £2,000 for a shed.

Coun Graham Warrender questioned the need for £5,500 to be spent on the town’s CCTV system.

Coun Esmond Tearle said he had gathered some information about a different CCTV scheme that could work out to be cheaper.

He said: “I need time to find out more about it but I think it could be monitored from the parish council office by volunteers.”

Coun Harrington suggested leaving the money in the precept, saying if the cash wasn’t set aside they wouldn’t be able to spend it.

Coun Val Gemmell said they needed to think seriously about what would happen if the existing CCTV system was removed.

A suggested allocation of £2,000 for grass mowers was discarded when councillors agreed that any mower repairs could be paid out of £8,000 in the machinery fund.

It was agreed to set aside £450 to pay for the flower bed at the main entrance to Carter’s Park and some pea gravel for the path near the bowls pavilion, but a suggestion of £150 to cover the cost of silver sand for the sand pit was scrapped, with that coming out of money allocated for the children’s play area.

Coun Carol Johnson suggested spending £1,500 to remove the Jubilee Shelter, saying it will cost a lot more to make it look nice.

It was agreed to set the cash aside but not make a decision until the parish meeting in March when the public would be asked their opinion.