Rate payers make savings after council cuts precept

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Brandon residents will be paying less in council rates this year after the town council slashed its precepts by more than a quarter.

A meeting on Monday saw the council set a precept for 2013/14 of £282,231, down more than £75,000 on last year’s figure of £282,231.

The changes mean an average saving of £18.76 a year for each Brandon resident.

Reg Silvester, chairman, said the cuts were ‘owed’ to residents after the council took an extra £35,000 last year to fund a bid to run Brandon Country Park and a one-off amount of £22,000 for street lighting changes.

“We said that if we didn’t purchase the country park we would repay that money, and we have honoured that.

“Times are tough at the moment, especially here in Brandon where we have a lot of lower band council tax payers,” he said.

However, the cuts were met with concern by Suffolk County Councillor Bill Bishop, who said funds are needed for the expansion of the town’s cemetery.

If the work goes ahead, the council will need to pay for archaeological surveys, a compulsory purchase order and fencing.

“It could be a lot of money to pay for the land and archaeological surveys.

“Something needs to be put aside and I’m concerned that we aren’t leaving enough in reserve,” Cllr Bishop said.