Royston councillors engaged in heated debate over budget
- Credit: Archant
Councillors were engaged in a heated debate over plans to raise Royston Town Council’s budget precept on Monday evening.
Plans by town council chairman F John Smith to bump up the precept to £257,586 – an increase of about 3.5 per cent on last year’s rate – were agreed at the meeting with nine of the 11 members voting in favour.
Councillor Smith said: “Our council is very efficient. A small organisation, we have to stand on our own two feet and cannot outsource our operations nor share tasks with other councils.
“Any reduction in staff would seriously affect the services that we provide in the town.”
Councillor Rod Kennedy introduced an alternative budget which proposed to save taxpayers money by closing the Cross public toilets, removing the council loan to fund the Wicker Hall cemetery and having volunteers at the museum rather than salaried staff.
You may also want to watch:
He said: “Over the last few years we seem to have had an insatiable appetite for taking on responsibilities which lie with the district council.
“It is not our role to cover the deficiencies of that council by providing the services they no longer consider Royston requires.”
- 1 Access between platforms to be restored at Royston station
- 2 Bassingbourn Barracks: New chapter for Army’s flagship operational training centre
- 3 Person dies after being struck by train in Cambridge
- 4 Sir Tom Jones set for green, green grass of Newmarket Racecourses
- 5 What are the outstanding schools in Hertfordshire?
- 6 How many people in our area have been 'pinged' by NHS COVID app?
- 7 Arrests made in connection with large-scale money laundering operation
- 8 Police hunt 36-year-old wanted for harassment and restraining order breaches
- 9 Escape the crowds this summer at these places to visit in Hertfordshire
- 10 Man seriously injured in three-car crash between Barley and Royston
Councillor Mark Hughes, who also voted against the town council budget proposal, said: “The big point is that it feels like the people of Royston are being short-changed. We do a discredit to them.
“This council is financially inept.”
Vice chairman John Davison supported the budget – which will see Band D households pay £42.18 for the year beginning on April 1 – and dismissed Mr Kennedy’s reservations over the Wicker Hall cemetery as ‘scaremongering’.