Councillors agree to rise in council tax

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A town councillor has called a decision to axe a £2,000 grant to a sports project for young people disgraceful.

Cllr Joy Uney was speaking as the council announced it was cutting its support to the Street Sports programme in a bid to keep its council tax rise to a minimum.

“To take £2,000 away at this late date is disgraceful. We as a council should be committing our resources to the youth of the town. We should be supporting this project.”

And Cllr Michael Jefferys added: “The project has been acclaimed as a great success so I am perplexed that at this time, when we do so little for the youth of this town that we are being asked to get rid of this grant.”

Established back in 2010, Street Sports provides free coached sports sessions mainly in football and basketball to make up for a lack of affordable youth activity.

It had been supported by the town council with a grant for at least two years.

However, deputy mayor Cllr John Berry said the decision to cut funding made by the council’s finance and policy committee came after Cllr David Hudson said he would make up the £2,000 out of his county councillor’s locality budget.

“There had been no official request from Street Sports for a grant and we were looking to save as much money as we could so council tax bills would not have to go up,” said Cllr Berry.

The precept agreed by the town council was £504,194, up by 1.77 per cent on last year, an annual increase of £1.68p for a Band D property.