Buckingham Town Council has voted to only increase the Council Tax raised by the Council on residents in 2019/20 by 10p per household. At the Town Council meeting on Monday 14 January councillors voted to use £8,586 from reserves towards the coming year’s budget to keep the rise as low as possible. The total amount raised through Council Tax by the Town Council in 2019/20 will be £852,777. This equates to an increase of 10p per week for a band D property, a rise of £5.26 or 3.3%. The Town Council also raises funding through charges, for example for use of rooms in the Lace Hill Community Centre, for burials and by charging the County Council for services provided on its behalf.
The additional funding will be used to install new fencing round the Bourton Park play area and dog-proof gates for Lace Hill Park. The Council will begin to pay for the purchase and development of the new cemetery and allotment site. The Council provides additional services to those run by neighbouring councils, including the Tourist Information Centre, Shopmobility, Lace Hill Community Centre and the annual fireworks display.
The Town Mayor, Jon Harvey, said, “I am really pleased that the Town Council have been able to keep our Council Tax increase so low. The Town Council is providing a wide and increasing range of services for the town while ensuring we have the finances in place to purchase and develop the new cemetery and allotments.”
The other Councils, Crime & Police Commissioner and Fire Authority set their own Council Tax rates and increases.
Buckingham Town Council’s Environment Committee is holding a ‘fix my street’ week, running from 5th to 13th January.
Town Councillors will be out and about carrying out an audit and reporting defects and repairs around the town centre and parks. Councillors are asking residents to help build a complete picture of issues using the County Council’s page on fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk
The Town Council already works with the County Council to carry out minor works including cutting grass verges. In early 2019, the County Council will also provide the Town Council with a small budget to arrange minor repairs. Feedback will also be used to help devise the Town Council’s small work programme, as well as to help the County Council identify works which are needed in the town.
The County Council’s FixMyStreet site enables anyone to report details of an issue, including photos, which ensures that the query is forwarded to the correct council. Where it is the County Council’s responsibility, the issue is logged on their system and the website updated as progress is made. FixMyStreet is primarily for reporting things which are broken or dirty or damaged or dumped, and need fixing, cleaning or clearing, like graffiti, dog fouling, potholes or street lights that don’t work.
It is helpful to be as precise as possible; a photo or asset number (e.g. from a streetlight) can be really helpful.
Councillor Margaret Gateley, Chair of the Environment Committee, said, “I am delighted that we are able to use fix my street to register issues and to monitor progress. I encourage all residents to look at their street and to report anything that needs fixing”.