Express & Star

Staffordshire residents to see precept rise

Stone residents in Band D properties are set to pay an extra £2.85 to the town council for the next financial year – and allotment holders will see their fees go up by 10 per cent.

Stone High Street

Stone Town Council’s budget plans for 2024/25 include £10,000 towards measures to prevent parking on Market Square and £5,000 extra for the Tourism and Town Promotion pot to stage an event in late summer, following the Olympic Games in Paris.

The proposed precept rise will mean Band D households paying £61 for the year to the town council, members heard at their latest meeting. The proposed 10 per cent allotment fee rise is expected to generate an additional £100 per year for the council’s environment budget.

Councillor Rob Kenney said the installation of benches and planters was being considered to tackle a long-running safety concern about vehicles parking in Market Square. “The idea is to put them at the front and side so people can’t park there”, he added.

“At the same time it will hopefully deter people from driving down the High Street. At the same time people often ask about benches halfway up the High Street.”

Councillor Jill Hood said: “The one-off increase in the events budget is to provide for a late summer music event. We’re hoping that some of our very talented kayakers and paddlers will bring home a gold medal to the town.

“I think the Tourism and Town Promotion group is sometimes viewed as frivolous. But in my experience, when we hold events in the town it brings people into the town and they see what a splendid place it is.

“Yes, we have got a few empty shops in the High Street but all the time there is someone coming into them. The tourism and town promotion budget is extremely important.”

Councillor Jim Davies said: “People in this town should be grateful we remain so thrifty. And can I implore councillors, if you are thinking of resigning for some reason please don’t – by-elections are expensive at £9,000.”

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