Wilmslow Town Council precept to rise by 36.6%

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Wilmslow Town Council has now set its precept for the financial year 2024-2025 which represents a 36.6% increase on last year.

When Wilmslow Town Council was formed thirteen years ago, the precept payment for a typical band 'D' property was set at £21.47. This figure rose in 2017-2018 to £27.45, to reflect falling reserves and higher costs over the preceding six years. Although falling slightly to a figure of £27.31 in 2021-2022, this figure has remained broadly static for the past seven years.

At its budget meeting in December 2023, the Town Council considered its income and expenditure for the next financial year (2024-2025) alongside its aspirations and falling reserves, before setting its precept request of £451,927, up from ££330,800 for the previous financial year. (2023-2024).

This equates to a band 'D' property charge of £37.31, an increase of £10 per year.

Councillor Jon Newell, Town Mayor, said, "Wilmslow Town Council plays an important role in providing services that complement the much wider range of high-profile services provided by Cheshire East Council.

"The Town Council's services, and our role in building our community, make a real difference to local people.

"The newly elected Councillors wish to build on the work of previous administrations and have ideas that will make a positive impact but that will inevitably have a cost.

"Likewise, the financial pressures that we see at Cheshire East Council are likely to impact the Town Council as we endeavour to protect services important to Wilmslow and its residents".

"The Town Council are aware of the financial pressures faced by many families but feel that an increase of £10 per year for an average property, after many years of static charges, continues to constitute good value when compared to the national average and will ensure that the council can fulfil and enhance its role in 2024 and beyond."

I am awaiting clarification from Wilmslow Town Council regarding the increased level of spending. Having looked at the budget and precept figures from the Wilmslow Town Council budget meeting held in December 2023 there are smaller increases in admin costs and managing events, public toilets and CCTV etc whilst the largest increase seems to be in special projects where £260,000 has been allocated, compared to a budget of £110,000 for 2023-2024.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Rob Curran
Friday 15th March 2024 at 8:12 pm
It would be useful to understand the benefit from the Town Council rather than just the cost or "necessity". For every £1 in precept what is the actual benefit we, as residents, have received through having the additional tier of the town council in terms of economic, social, or cultural improvement? I'm not suggesting for one moment that the town council doesn't add value or benefit, but what are the quantified financial and/or economic benefits which substantiate and support the expected outcomes from the increased monetary support from residents?
Richard Mason
Monday 18th March 2024 at 9:32 am
I would expect that the Town Council would issue a breakdown of where the money goes in addition to the rather bland statement on the website and to save us having to dig through the finance reports. There does seem to be a bit more activity from the council recently so hopefully money well spent!
Mark Goldsmith
Monday 18th March 2024 at 3:52 pm
This is the first price increase since 2018 and every penny raised is spent on Wilmslow.

Without it, the town councils spending power would be greatly reduced by inflation and we would be unable to fund some of the various activities it currently supports. Events such as the Christmas Lights & Switch On, Cinema in the Park and royal jubilee town centre days. We also give money to various groups such as the Wilmslow Show, Wilmslow in Bloom, The Citizens Advice and other local non-profit groups that provide help to our residents. Added to this, we have many new ideas to improve the town that we will bring forward over the coming months.

It would be nice to quantify the benefit it all brings to the town, but the council has a very small team, so it would require a financial expert to calculate it. Therefore, I just don't think it warrants the cost this would involve. However, the precept for Wilmslow is still the lowest of all 12 town councils within Cheshire East. So for comparison, the other town councils charge each year for a Band D property:

Nantwich £150.38
Middlewich £120.82
Knutsford £119.93
Alsager £107.19
Congleton £105.49
Poynton £95.57
Crewe £92.34
Bollington £89.78
Sandbach £86.84
Handforth £68.15
Macclesfield £64.56
Wilmslow £37.29

Therefore, even with this increase (the first in 6 years), I think the town council continues to provide excellent value for money for its residents.

Best regards


Residents of Wilmslow
Town Councillor - Wilmslow West
Paul Hampton
Wednesday 20th March 2024 at 7:19 pm
“It would be nice to quantify the benefit it all brings to the town, but the council has a very small team, so it would require a financial expert to calculate it. Therefore, I just don't think it warrants the cost this would involve.”

Shouldn't taxpayers be the judge of that?

Simply list what you’re spending our hard earned money on. It isn’t rocket science.

It is really quite arrogant to hike the bill by 37% and refuse to provide transparency.
Richard Mason
Thursday 21st March 2024 at 3:06 pm
What I find unbelievable is that the Wilmslow precept is so much lower than everywhere else? Does this mean that all the other communities are being ripped off, everyone else is getting more local investment than us or that previous Wilmslow Town Council just didn't invest in us?
Pete Taylor
Friday 22nd March 2024 at 6:03 am
Wilmslow precept equates to seventy-two pence per week; the “tax hike” equals nineteen pence per week.

All this squealing from a community where it’s almost impossible to cross the street without being hit by a super-car or giant 4x4.

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