01 March 2022
Swanage Town Council has agreed total spending of £3 million for the 2022/23 financial year to protect local services and deliver priority projects in support of the local community and the town’s economy.
Core Town Council services include maintaining parks and open spaces such as The Downs, children’s play areas, playing fields, allotments, Beach Gardens sports park, the main beach, cemeteries, public toilets, Peveril Point boat park, car parks, the Information Centre and the market.
The Council also makes financial contributions to other organisations, such as Dorset Council, to help fund safety enforcement in Swanage Bay, the Durlston Bus and the Mount Scar School Crossing Patrol.
The budget for 2022/23 includes contributions to many other projects, such as:
• Ground stabilisation works and enhancement of Sandpit Field and the Spa - £300,000
• Repairing the Parish Slipway/Stone Quay and stabilising Peveril Point Rd - £125,000
• Improvements to the Football Club Facilities at Day’s Park - £90,000
• Environmental projects and support for Sustainable Swanage - £84,000
• Improvements to King George’s Field Skate Park - £25,000
• Improvements to the former St Mark’s School Playing Field, Jubilee Road - £22,500
• Development of a Neighbourhood Plan - £15,000
The majority of the Council’s funding comes from its commercial activity and the fees it charges for the use of its facilities. In addition to this, £840,000 will be charged to residents in 2022/23 via the Town Council’s share of the Council Tax bill, known as the parish precept. This makes up less than 10 per cent of residents’ total Council Tax charge which also funds Dorset Council, Dorset Police and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
This year Councillors reluctantly decided that it was necessary to increase the Town Council’s charge to residents. This will see the precept payable for a Band D property rise by £14.86 per annum to £172. This equates to £3.31 per week, an increase of 29 pence. Those living in Band A properties will pay £2.20 per week and those in Band H £6.61 per week.
By way of comparison, Dorset Council’s share of the Council Tax Bill will be increasing by £1.02 per week for Band D households, from £1,779 per annum to £1,833.
The Band D precept charged by Weymouth, Dorchester and Wareham Town Councils next year will be £176, £202 and £221 respectively.
Councillor Avril Harris, Town Mayor, said:
‘Councillors acknowledge that due to the increasing cost of living this is a very difficult time to ask local people to pay more for Council services. However, the Town Council is also experiencing inflation and we believe that Council facilities have to be maintained to ensure that Swanage remains a vibrant and prosperous town’.
Councillor Harris continued:
‘The Town Council’s priority is to invest for the future, enhancing opportunities for young people’s play and recreation, working towards carbon neutrality and supporting the local economy’.