Boston Borough Council has agreed an increase in its share of the council tax of 2.86 per cent.
At a meeting of the Full Council last night (Monday), councillors voted to approve the rise which equates to a total bill of £178.29 a year for a Band D property.
Boston Borough Council needs to find £2 million to balance its budget by 2020/21 and a report before the council said that £500,000 of savings had been identified for 2017.
The capital programme for its 2017/18 budget will be £2.071 million, and the report said it ‘remains affordable, sustainable and prudent over the next five years’.
Coun Aaron Spencer, portfolio holder for finance, told the meeting: “This rise will allow us to present a balanced budget for 17/18.”
He told councillors that 97 per cent of councils had accepted a four year settlement deal from the Government adding: “We are with the vast majority of councils who have now decided to go forward.”
He said he was pleased with the council’s financial position, ‘but we shouldn’t take our foot off the pedal now’.
Concerns were raised by councillors that more needed to be done to lobby Government for further funding, to deal with increasing costs from the local drainage boards and to promote the area’s history while also modernising aspects of the town.
Coun Paul Gleeson said the budget compared with seven to 11 years ago showed there was half the money available to provide services for the whole of the borough.
Leader of the council Coun Peter Bedford said no opportunity was missed to make the case for increased funding for Boston to ministers.
He said there had been meetings with the drainage boards but added: “But it’s difficult. They have a job and tell us do we want wet feet or dry feet?”
Coun Spencer also denied rumours that council tax bills had been printed prior to the meeting, adding: “I spoke to the finance department about this and was told categorically that is not the case.”
The county council is increasing its part of the council tax bill by 3.95 per cent. The rise consists includestwo per cent specifically for adult social care.
According to the report, the 2017/18 precepts are as follows (percentage rise): BBC £178.29 (2.86 per cent), LCC £1,173.42 (3.95 per cent), Police and Crime Commissioner £53.05 (109.27 per cent), average parish council £53.05.
It means the average Band D household will pay £1,610.23 - a rise of 5.31 per cent.
The recorded vote to accept the recommendations saw the councillors vote as follows:
For: A. Austin, R. Austin, P.Bedford, M. Brookes, C. Brotherton, D. Brown, M. Cooper, M. Dennis, V. Edge, J. Edwards, B. Evans, P. Gleeson, M. Griggs, B. Pierpoint, E. Ransome, F. Ransome, S. Ransome, S. Raven, C. Rylott, A. Spencer, N. Welton, S. Woodliffe.
Against: J. Noble, B. Rush.
Abstain: A. Dani.
Absent: G. Gregory, J. Skinner, P. Skinner, Y. Stevens, S. Ball.