Modest rise in council tax agreed

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

A two per cent rise for its portion of council tax has been agreed unanimously at a meeting of Morpeth Town Council.

Its precept will go up to £557,582 for 2017/18, which means an average band D property will pay £113.38. The charge for this band in 2016/17 was £111.16.

The local authority will continue to fund all of its current services and financial support to Morpeth Town Team, the Greater Morpeth Development Trust and a wide range of community groups.

A statement by the chairman and vice chairman of the finance and general purposes committee, Coun Les Cassie and Coun David Parker respectively, said: ‘In addition, the committee is recommending a number of new one-off commitments.

‘For example, upgrades to Carlisle Park and Church Walk children’s play areas and funding to obtain quality legal advice to uphold the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, which remains under threat from developers and, sadly, from our own county council.

‘Much of this one-off expenditure will be funded by using some of the balances accumulated in earlier years, supplemented by £37,500 provided by the developer of the St George’s site under a section 106 agreement.

‘Whilst central government has decided not to impose a cap on the level of council tax that can be levied by town councils this year, it continues to threaten that a cap of two per cent may be imposed from next year.

‘The finance and general purposes committee has decided that it would therefore be prudent to increase the precept for 2017/18 by two per cent in line with expected general inflation and, at this time, to plan for further increases of two per cent in subsequent years.’