Battle Town Council (BTC) has voted to raise its proportion of the council tax by 33 per cent for a Band D property.
Councillors agreed to the rise at a council meeting on Tuesday (January 10), which will see residents living in a Band D property paying an extra £31.20 a year for the services the council provides.
Among the things the council hopes to achieve in the next year is bringing a Tourist Information Point back to the town, costing £6,000. This follows concerns raised by the public that there is no such facility in Battle to help visitors, residents and local businesses.
BTC also wants to take over responsibility for the town’s Christmas lights, after the Battle of Chamber of Commerce gave notice last year. The council says it feels this is an ‘essential part of the town’ and has obtained quotations for £10,000 for the erecting and dismantling of the lights.
Meanwhile one of the council’s most important assets, the Almonry, is to undergo essential repairs to the tune of £10,000, with a further £10,000 earmarked towards future major work on the historic property.
Other plans include:
• £22,500 towards bringing café and interactive play equipment to the rec.
• £1,000 for a new defibrillator at Netherfield.
• £1,000 to promote links with groups such as Battle’s twinned town.
• £5,000 to replace the ‘shabby’ mayoral chain of office.
• £3,000pa to make improvements to the Mount Street overflow car park.
• £10,000 to buy a wood shredder to enable environmentally friendly disposal of timber.
• £6,5000 to replace the council’s 20 year old ride-on mower to keep the extended cemetery in good condition.
• £15,000pa for three years to boost BTC’s low reserves.
The council has saved money as its social media and marketing, plus tree work, is now all done in house, but is set to see its tax reduction grant from Rother District Council cut by 50 per cent to £3,664.74 for 2017/18.
To encompass the plans for Battle, the council agreed a precept of £340,762.
Council chairman David Furness said: “We are confident that residents may be assured the council is doing all it can for the well-being of the town and will enjoy the services provided. Members feel the council must continue to attempt to provide amenities that either Rother or East Sussex Council have cancelled, such as the Tourist Information Point, or that have suffered from substantial cutbacks.”