Committee agrees an extra £81,000 spend for the town centre

The Boston Borough Council building.
The Boston Borough Council building.

Councillors on a town committee are looking to spend an extra £81,000 towards two new maintenance officers for the town, and a variety of future events.

The members of the Boston Town Area Committee, however, are also exploring the idea of increasing its precept on the council tax by 10 per cent to account for extra spending.

At a meeting on Wednesday, councillors discussed the extra funds and what the extra officers would do - including a variety of odd jobs and maintenance around the town.

There is currently only one such employee at Boston Borough Council who, for example, cleans and fixes borough council property, puts up and takes down signs across the borough, and cleans up chewing gum and other litter.

It was decided that £41,000 would be put aside for the new officers, while £40,000 would be added to the events spend.

Other areas the councillors looked at included the Fenside Community Centre, and spends on Health and Environment, Arts, Heritage Services and Tourism and Physical Activity.

The borough council currently spends around £248,000 on all of these.

Chairman Coun Nigel Welton worried that if BTAC took over some of that spend, it might lead to the borough reducing its existing spend.

He said: “We as a committee should only consider taking over on spending where we feel that spending is going to stop, and we feel that particular project is something we might want to deal with

“The reason we took the decision to raise the precept in line with other town areas was so that we can improve the benefit and lives of those in the BTAC area.

“If we are to spend £248,000 on existing support we are not making one jot of difference to the people of the BTAC area.”

Coun Paul Gleeson said he felt there were some areas, including events, where the committee could do a better job than the council and pushed for an upped event budget for the summer period.

If the council tax was raised it would take the precept to £76.92 for a Band D property - a £6.99 increase for the year (£51.28/£4.66 for Band A properties).

The committee was told this would bring in an extra £50,000 to spend on the town.

Councillors agreed to add the two spends to the BTAC committee by a vote of four for and four against, chairman Nigel Welton broke the vote in favour.

No decision was yet made on tax, with councillors looking to set up a workshop prior to the Autumn.