Tough times on way for councils
TROWBRIDGE Town Council says it faces financial disaster if it loses £197,843 from its budget because of Government reforms.
It will tell Wiltshire Council, which is trying to decide if it should ‘top up’ town and parish councils’ grants, as it did last year, that it could only cope with a 35 per cent cut in its funding.
National cutbacks mean councils now only get financial support for homes that do not get housing benefit. The more homes in a town where people are on this, the less money their council gets to pay for their services.
Wiltshire Council will get about £14million less, so has less to share out. Now it has sent a survey to town and parish councils with three options for a potential grant reduction: a 20 per cent, 35 per cut or a 100 per cent cut.
If the cut is 100 per cent Warminster could lose £55,028, Bradford on Avon £32,583, Westbury £49,225, Melksham £56,072 and Corsham £60,491.
Melksham Town Council will decide on Monday how much of a cut it could cope with. Lance Allan, Trowbridge Town Council clerk, said: “We appreciate the pressures Wiltshire Council are under. “We intend to reply stating we could cope with a 35 per cent reduction but 100 per cent would be disastrous.”
Wiltshire Cllr Dick Tonge, cabinet finance member, said: “The Government made a decision which they said had unattached consequences which has significantly reduced our funding.” The issue will be discussed at the next cabinet meeting.
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