Council tax precept will help Haverhill Town Council to continue providing lots of free events in the community
For less than the price of a pint the people of Haverhill will be able to continue enjoying the free events provided by the town council after it agreed its new budget.
The council’s annual budget and Council Tax precept was agreed at Monday’s full town council meeting.
And, having stuck to the pledge it made in 2017 to keep its annual precept rise to just two per cent, the upshot is that the 2019/20 Council Tax bill for a Band B property (which accounts for more than half the dwellings in Haverhill) will increase by £1.98 per year to £100.68 – a rise of less than 4p per week.
The precept for a Band D property will increase by £2.54 to £129.44, which is a rise of less than 5p per week.
Haverhill Town Council clerk Colin Poole said the precept was central to ensuring the myriad of
free events and services provided by the council could continue.
These include not only the likes of the East Town Park Hallowe’en Trail, the free fireworks at the Family Christmas Night and the programme of family events during the school summer holidays, such as The Big Day Out, but also the youth services in the town.
He said: “There are lots of events that we put on that simply wouldn’t be able to happen without this whip round where people are putting money into the pot.
“I think that’s the great thing about Haverhill. I think the town pulls together and I think people are willing to support events that everyone can attend.
“People may not actively come and use the arts centre but there are all sorts of benefits they are getting that they may not even notice.”
The impressive performance over the past year of the arts centre and the resulting increase in revenue from ticket sales was one of the factors in the precept rise staying at two per cent, said Mr Poole.
He added: “The performance of the arts centre in terms of the number of people attending means we have not had to apply quite the degree of grant support for the arts centre that we expected so that has taken away the pressure on us to apply more than a two per cent increase.”
The services and events offered by the town council thanks to the precept was also making Haverhill the envy of other towns, said Mr Poole.
“People from across the county point to Haverhill and say ‘wow, look at what Haverhill is doing, can we do that’.
“The fireworks display we put on, people tell us, is way better than other shows in towns nearby where people have to pay to get in.”
The annual expenditure budget has been set at £1,280,300.54 and the precept at £954,798.63.