census - Nantwich town centre October 2020

Nantwich residents are facing a 42.5% rise in their Town Council tax base after councillors voted through a controversial budget plan tonight (December 10).

It means all properties facing a £1 per week increase in the town council portion of their bill from April 2021.

But not all councillors were in favour, with one blasting the budget which includes spending £16,000 on coffee machines for the Civic Hall.

The proposed budget sets out how the town council, which pays for essential services like town CCTV, the indoor market and Civic Hall, needs to raise more than £932,000 from households to balance the books.

The authority has been hit badly by the Covid pandemic with the closure of the Civic Hall and market hall, two of its biggest revenue earners.

But Cllr John Statham told a heated town council meeting tonight that the finance committee had not done enough to find savings and that the rise would hit families who are already struggling.

“As it stands I can’t support this Budget,” he said.

“The increases proposed here, residents would at least expect councillors to go through each line and make sure we find a way to reduce costs as much as we can.

“I don’t believe we have given it the scrutiny it deserves. An increase of 42.5% is not going to help people who are struggling.

“Effectively, we’ll be taking an extra £260,000 out of people’s pockets with this rise. If we’re not going to add £260,000 of value to the town for residents, we’re effectively just using it to cover a hole in the budget.

“Surely it’s better to have that money in people’s pockets to spend in the town?”

However, others said the budget was necessary as Cheshire East Council had reduced the amount it would give to the town council by £26,000.

External auditors have already warned the authority that it has a major shortfall in its “general reserves” which all councils should retain for emergencies.

Cllr Arthur Moran backed the budget, and claimed those councillors who don’t live in the town council boundary should not be voting against it.

He added: “The Council Tax base has been reduced by Cheshire East Council, the general reserves we have are not enough, and we are living in extraordinary times and had no income from the Civic Hall.

“We need to keep this council financially viable and to protect jobs of our staff.”

Cllr David Marren also backed the Budget, adding: “I think if we don’t put this Budget through it is a vote of no confidence in the clerk and I shall be voting for a £1 a week increase.

“The clerk has stripped everything out that can be.”

Councillors voted four proposals through narrowly with seven voting in agreement and five abstaining, including backing the proposed budget for 2021-22, approving the precept, and noting the capital reserves and revenue reserves.

21 Comments

  1. Phil M says:

    In this country, we are long overdue a reform to the tax system – it is out of date and unfair. Paying taxes is a good thing as it help supports the society we live in, but this needs to be a progressive system. The more you earn, the more tax you pay; those that don’t earn or earn less, pay less. It works well in other European countries, just take a look at Finland.

    If we adopted such an approach in the UK, this would avoid the need for large local taxation rises such as this as local councils would be better supported from central government.

    Unfortunately, we are wrapped up in a capitalist culture where the rich just get richer and are generally in the pockets of the elected elite.

    Lobby the MP for change…its the only way.

    • Yes says:

      It is a progressive system already, we use a % calculation for income tax for example – thus thse more you earn the more you pay. With council tax, as in this case, the higher the band your house is in the more you pay as well.

      Oddly enough most other services to your house are based on what you actually use. Gas, electricity and water as prime examples. What we really need is to stop the monopoly of councils, who can just charge whatever they feel like taking from you. Imagine if British Gas rang you up and said your gas bill was going up 42.5%. Anyone with half a brain would be onto uswitch before you could say “useless councillor”. If you had a choice of 3 councils to pay your tax to then I bet you wouldn’t see many 42.5% rises, because they would be out of business pronto.

      • Phil M says:

        No its not progressive. We have wide tax bands.

        Personal Allowance Up to £12,500 0%
        Basic rate £12,501 to £50,000 20%
        Higher rate £50,001 to £150,000 40%
        Additional rate over £150,000 45%

        This needs to be changed to generate more income through taxing high earners – more bands, higher taxable amounts. Those high earners should see paying tax as a privilege to help society as a whole.

        The local devolved systems can take advantage of this and would have more money available for local services. Without progression, they will be forced to make up losses by increasing local taxes. I don’t think we should be critical of the local system, but direct our criticism at how the nations taxes are calculated.

  2. Observer says:

    Check out Councillors allowances your local Councillor gets paid the equivalent of £250 + per week yes you read that right PER WEEK

  3. Kevin Wood says:

    It has lost money year on year

  4. JMF says:

    Did the council think about furloughing staff because obviously some wages were dependent on income streams? Lots of other councils did, why not Nantwich?

  5. Dawn willer says:

    Not right as so many of us have lost work and wages over this year .
    Why do you need coffee machine in the civic hall have done this long without one .

  6. Garry says:

    Think 42% is just not on,how about the people who live here vote on it,think a detailed list of costs should be public with the proposed plan of action so we can see if someone is doing there jobs correctly

  7. ian betts says:

    42% were has all the money gone from all new houses built in nantwich not on roads or footpath Not cleaned .

  8. David Robb says:

    This is a disgrace allowing these increases when the population is seeing reductions in income in a major way. Easy pickings for the council to put this through, they should be earning their place representing people by working at other solutions to the issues.

  9. Kevin Wood says:

    Arthur Moran needs to give his head an examination. This is ridiculous. The civic hall already loses 60 grand a year before the covid came and he has spent several hundred thousand of our money recently to expand it! Shocking

    • Rob Sproston says:

      The Civic Hall is one area of the town which actually generates income sadly with the pandemic it had to close. It is a necessity in the town and is used a lot

      • Richard says:

        Rob, I accept your point that it generates income/revenue but this only makes sense if it is profitable. Most facilities will generate income but if costs exceed revenue this is not a good model.

  10. Frank Stone says:

    unbelievable, what planet do these folk hail from? before asking us mere residents to prop up your coffers, try publishing exactly what you are spending the money on, sounds like you are not trying very hard to make savings at all, why indeed do we need a new civic hall for starters? There will be plenty of space in the town when traders up sticks and leave, what we need are more pop up venues to explore interests more than just shopping for shopping’s sake, and more viable housing for older and disabled residents right in the heart of the town to make it more vibrant and well used

  11. Richard says:

    Once again residents stripped of more money. Residents are suffering during this pandemic, it is not just the local council. Reading the finance meeting minutes from October Clr Moran claims”£1 per week is less than a cup of coffee”. Well I do not know how £16000 splits out for Council coffee but a 200g jar of Aldi coffee costs approximately £2 and I have the ability to make more than 2 cups from this.
    In addition, will the public of this town please remember these increases are NEVER reversed when circumstances change. Remember Chips increasing when potatoes were in short supply. Did they drop when supply returned. NO. Be wary, these sneaky increases will stay for ever.

  12. Barry Cason says:

    Do I get to go into the civic hall and get a coffee?

  13. 42% increase is absolutley ridiculous when was the last time peoples wages went up 42%! Explore other avenues to make money not just easy ways by overcharging people obscene amounts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.

*

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.