Mayor’s Report for March 2022 – includes update on the precept

As we move forward from the ending of official Covid restrictions I would continue to urge all to take care particularly in enclosed or crowded spaces whilst continuing, of course, to shop local!   We are approaching the new financial year and with it the prospect of significant cost of living increases.  With this in mind I wanted to let you know that, unfortunately, it has been necessary to increase the Town Council’s precept this year by an average of 80p a week.   This is because we need more resources to handle the larger amount of work now undertaken by Council staff and better manage the significant portfolio of Council buildings.     We have also been asked by many residents to do more to keep the town tidy and will be expanding the maintenance team to accommodate this.   We have also considered it necessary to provide further significant grant funding to the Synwell Playing Fields Association, to help protect the future of this facility and to support the Wotton Area Climate Action Network to assist meeting the local challenges of climate Change.  Unfortunately the town does not benefit from significant additional income arising from large scale housing developments which would otherwise help fund our programmes.   I know the upcoming cost of living increases will be a challenge for many and assure all that the precept rise has been kept as low as possible, consistent with our responsibilities for staff well being and the need to properly manage the Council’s business.  It will take some time to get the new resources in place but I hope you will soon notice the difference in your dealings with the Town Council and the appearance of the town.