Going, going, UP as Wisbech Town Council opt for 30.4 per cent local rates increase

THE cash raised locally by Wisbech Town Council is set to rise by 30 per cent in the coming year – by far the highest increase of any Fenland town or parish council.

The town council has agreed it should raise �249,200 against �189,100 raised in 2011-12.

Town clerk Erbie Murat said the extra money would fund a number of projects not least the development of the market place following its purchase from Fenland Council.

Wisbech will also devote �20,000 a year for the next three years to test the viability of re-opening the rail line to March and there’s also a further �5,000 to fund an information centre.

Mr Murat accepted the council had “bitten the bullet” on Council Tax and gone for a budget that shows Wisbech has a council “that’s going place.”

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“The council has voted to making clear its commitment to Wisbech,” said Mr Murat.

Last year the town council signed a 12 month service agreement for Fenland Council to maintain and run the market place but that agreement is ending in July.

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The town will take on board all the running costs and receive income from traders: the town is also committed to finding a formula to ensure a balance between parking and access.

The council has agreed that expenditure and income from the market place is ring fenced to ensure a balanced budget.

Wisbech Town Council’s grants to local groups for the coming year include �6,000 to the museum, �1,000 to Fenland Arts, �4,000 to a Jubilee street party, �4,000 to a multi cultural festival and �1,000 towards the Christmas market. Wisbech in Bloom, Angles Theatre, St John, Rose Fair and old people’s welfare are among other groups also getting financial support.

Assistant town clerk Susanah Farmer, writing on social media site Twitter wrote “personal view here folks- only 16p per week- 30.4 per cent. 30.4 per cent of bugger all is bugger all.”

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