Ilkley Town Council has taken the decision to raise its precept by 4.7% for the 2021-22 Council year.
The precept is collected by Bradford MDC alongside Council Tax but goes specifically to the Town Council for its work. The increase equates to an annual charge of £47.11 for a Band D Council Tax property (compared with £44.99 in 2020 -21).
Ilkley Town Mayor Councillor Mark Stidworthy said “The decision to raise the Town Council precept by 4.7% was taken after careful discussion by Town Councillors. It was recognised that Covid-19 has created financial difficulties for some Ilkley residents, but the precept has not risen for two years, fewer ratepayers will contribute in 2021-22, and Bradford Council resources are thinly stretched. It is important to maintain the spending power of the Town Council in the face of inflation and increasing demands on local resources, including those resulting from the pandemic.
"In the coming year we have set aside a significant budget for a Town Centre Investment Fund (including work with Ilkley BID on the Discover Ilkley project) and we expect to undertake a complete refurbishment of the Riverside Gardens toilets and improvement work at Darwin Gardens Millennium Green. We will continue to support existing projects such as the Jubilee and Christmas lights and town centre planting schemes. We also hope to be active in cross-town partnerships to develop public spaces that are pleasurable, safe, sustainable and accessible for pedestrians, cyclists and car users alike.
"Over the last year we have listened to the community and will use our community engagement budget to support and help rebuild local cultural, sporting, recreational and educational activities. Some money will continue to be available by application from local community groups. There will be a particular focus on well-being and mental resilience for all our residents as we emerge from these difficult times."
Deputy Mayor Councillor Ros Brown added "This increase means we can continue to invest in our town in ways we anticipate can help people save money by accessing, using and enjoying more easily the public spaces, shops and services on offer close at hand. This investment is another way we can show our strength as a community in supporting each other in these difficult times and help plan for a healthy recovery ahead."
Councillor Stidworthy continued "Although we acknowledge that the decision to raise the precept will not be welcomed by everybody, Ilkley Town Council is confident it has set a careful budget honouring a clear commitment to enhance the town’s environment and support our residents and businesses during these difficult times. Town Councillors will continue to work together to manage public resources responsibly.”