Town Council needs more cash off residents to run services

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Nelson Town Council is to increase its precept to protect integral services.

Councillors approved the increase on Wednesday night.

The decision will result in a precept of 45p per week for 2016/17 for a Band A property, the council tax band which the majority of properties in Nelson fall into.

With cuts in central government funding to Pendle Council, town and parish councils across the borough are being asked to take on more responsibilities.

In Nelson, these include play and multi-use game areas, benches and brand new state of the art CCTV with a further uptake of proposed services such as parks and markets to be considered in the near future.

Other significant costs in the town in 2016 include supporting the highly successful Nelson Food Festival which attracted 8,000 people last year.

There is also a financial package of £60,000 for various events including aspirations to host Christmas markets.

And there is also a commitment to take over and refurbish Unity Hall at a cost of £70,000 to ensure that a number of Nelson residents benefit from the community facility and the town council’s new headquarters.

Nelson Town Council said the task of delivering a fair budget and focussing on delivering value for money for the residents of Nelson was made possible through effective consultation and transparency.

Town councillors say the precept is still less than half of the next biggest town in Pendle, Colne, and significantly lower than many other town and parish councils in the borough.

Nelson Town Council Chairman Coun. Sajid Ali said: “There is a clear desire from the people of Nelson to not only protect key services and buildings in the town but they understand that the cuts being imposed on other councils in the area mean they cannot sustain delivery of these services.”

Nelson Town Council Vice Chairman Coun. George Adam added: “Despite being the largest populated town, Nelson has long been renowned for having the lowest Band D precept at £10.

“Going forward, the town council has agreed that the Band D precept at £35.38 will generate manageable revenue to ensure effective delivery of services which shall see Nelson continue to be a great town to live, work and play.

“An overwhelming majority of people I have spoken to were adamant that these services are secured at all costs as these are no doubt vital to every resident of Nelson.”