Council tax increase to fund Royston market square purchase

09:11 16 January 2014

The town council wants to buy land where Royston market is located

The town council wants to buy land where Royston market is located

Archant

Royston Town Council is putting up its precept – the share of council tax it receives – so it can afford repayments on the loan it plans to take out to purchase Market Hill, where the market is based.

The rise will mean the average Band D household in Royston will pay £41.12 a year to the town council, a rise of £2.43, or just under five pence per week.

Councillors agreed the move, a rise of 5.92 per cent compared to 2013, at a meeting on Monday.

Cllr F John Smith told the meeting: “We want to acquire the market place for the good of the town, and I think the town will be getting something worthwhile at a reasonable bargain price. It’s worth doing.”

As reported in the Crow last year, the town council is looking to purchase Market Hill after it was put up for sale by its owner, MPK Holdings.

The council, which runs Royston market, has a 10-year lease on the land, and wants to ensure the site does not fall into the hands of developers once this comes to an end.

Having studied funding options, Cllr Smith said that a loan was the only way to press ahead with the purchase.

“If another opportunity arises we might look at it, but at the moment there isn’t another option presenting itself,” he added.

Cllr Bob Smith, Royston’s mayor, said: “We are currently paying £15,000 per year rent, and this will go up to £19,700 with the loan.

“Obviously this is a greater sum, but we will be buying an asset.”

Councillors unanimously voted to approve the new precept, which will see the council receive £249,021 
from residents this year, up from £231,470 in 2013.

North Herts District Council has yet to decide whether to increase its share of the council tax, while the police and fire services also receive a precept which contributes to the overall bill.

Meanwhile, the council is looking for a new market manager following the resignation of Steve Barrett.

Details of the role, and how to apply, can be found on the town 
council website – www.royston
towncouncil.gov.uk

• What do you think? Are you happy for your council tax bill to rise to fund the purchase of the market square? Email postbag@royston-crow.co.uk and let us know your thoughts.

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:50
Bassingbourn dance school DanceMatters has been named in the Small Biz 100 campaign which promotes small businesses in the UK.

Staff and students at a dance school in Bassingbourn are celebrating after they were named among 100 small businesses in the UK which will be promoted by a campaign dedicated to championing smaller firms.

Yesterday, 09:32
Sales assistant Emma Tansley, assistant manager Ashleigh Crowther, and supervisor Danielle Sutcliffe are gearing up to raise some cash at the Make A Wish fun day on Saturday at TOFS in Orchard Road.

A family fun day, organised by a shop in Royston, is to take place on Saturday to raise money for a children’s charity.

Tue, 14:48
Orjan and Ulf Weston in combat at Royston Museum's Viking Day. Picture: Clive Porter

A Norse-style takeover saw more than 200 visitors flock to Royston and District Museum on Saturday for some family-friendly fun.

Mon, 17:48
Museum Assistant Jenny Benton took part in a pirate themed craft day at Royston Museum.

There was plenty of treasure to be discovered at Royston Museum on Wednesday as they held a pirate-themed craft session.

”North

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up