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Wisbech householders will pay same in 2021 for town council services as they did last year

Wisbech Town Council has frozen its portion of householders' annual Council Tax bills despite the impact of the pandemic.

The decision was agreed at last Monday's (18) council meeting when councillors discussed a draft budget drawn up by town clerk Terry Jordan.

In a report to the council's policy and resources committee Mr Jordan explained: "The “normal” practice when preparing a draft budget for the forthcoming financial year is to use the budget for the current financial year as a benchmark and then to make adjustments to reflect known and anticipated changes (such as increases in the costs of utilities and insurance, the beginning or end of a particular project etc)."

Wisbech Town Council has set aside £5,000 for anti-incinerator fighting fund.
Wisbech Town Council has set aside £5,000 for anti-incinerator fighting fund.

But he said given the impact of Covid-19 has had on the council's income and expenditure over the last year he had not used the authority's actual income and expenditure in 2020/21 to draw up his draft budget.

Instead he said he had used what the "likely" position would have been under "normal" circumstances.

Adding: "In setting a budget, it is always better to over-estimate expenditure and under-estimate income."

Councillors also agreed to a £5,000 fighting fund for the council's anti-incinerator working party to use to meet the costs of publicity, campaigning materials and public meetings, in the fight to stop MVV Environment Ltd building a mega-incinerator in the town.

They also agreed to Mr Jordan's recommendation to set aside a reserve of £30,000 to help with the cost of obtaining specilist advice, which may be required to challenge any application submitted to the secretary of state for the incinerator project.

Mr Jordan said it would be difficult to predict accurately the level of income from markets and car boots activities in the coming financial year because it is not clear whether there will be any trading restrictions.

His report concludes by explaining that the draft budget for 2021/22 requires £368,885 of council tax payers money - the equivalent of £57.57 for the year for the average Band D property - the same as the town's householders have been paying in the current financial year.

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