SALISBURY residents could face a hike in the amount of council tax for the city council.

Salisbury City Council’s precept for 2022/23 has been calculated as £3,502,565, which equates to a precept per band D property of £233 – an increase of £25 or 12 per cent.

The council’s finance and governance committee met on Monday to discuss the budget.

The recommendations on the precept and budget will go before full council next Monday (January 17) for approval.

A report to the finance and governance committee said the budgets and income targets have been set to “facilitate the delivery of council services, provide reasonable stability against unforeseeable demands, and enable the maintenance and necessary enhancement of capital assets” and account for the plan to acquire the grounds maintenance depot and taking on grounds maintenance in-house.

The report gave cost pressures including inflation on contracts and utilities, increased supply costs and environmental support funding in relation to the climate change agenda; the introduction of new services, such as Jubilee Tree Planting and events, works and streets maintenance contract, as well as project and support costs to purchase and redevelop the new grounds maintenance depot.

Budget comes under fire

Conservative councillor Charles McGrath has slammed the budget as “extremely poor”.

In a letter to the Journal, he said: “The leadership claims that this budget delivers on what ‘the people’ wanted. I don’t think a council tax hike of 12 per cent is what anyone who voted in last May’s elections wanted.

“But what do we get for this tax rise? Do we get improved services, more consultation, tangible plans to make our city greener? No. Instead, we get £40,000 spent on a sound system for the Guildhall and no commitment to renewing the council’s contract with Venture Security, who do a lot of work to stop anti-social behaviour in the city centre.”

Council leadership group response

A statement on behalf of the leadership group said: “The proposed increase in the city’s precept is £25 per year for a typical Band D property, and slightly less for most properties, which are in band C.

"We are well aware that people face huge cost-of-living rises in the coming year. The council, too, has to pay for fuel, nationally agreed wage increases, etc.

"We also have the costs of buying a depot and taking grounds maintenance entirely in-house – decisions that the Tories supported in the interests of long-term efficiency, and that will generate new income streams."

It also said the Guildhall's ceiling needed to be fixed, which it had "no choice"over as it is a listed building, and repairs to the crematorium roof and refurbishment of the "dilapidated" public toilets were also needed.

And £15,000 is to be invested on a citywide tree planting strategy.

"If anyone would like a fuller explanation of how we reached these difficult decisions, all are welcome to attend our Full Council meeting in the Guildhall on Monday,” the statement added.

The full council meeting in the Guildhall on Monday January 17 is open to the public and starts at 6.30pm. 

To view the agenda and council documents visit the city council's website

Council tax

Wiltshire Council also set its own council tax precept, which is in addition to the amount paid to the city council. A share of the council tax is also set for policing and the fire authority.

Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has plans to raise the policing precept by £10 per year. 

The proposed increase put forward by PCC Philip Wilkinson is a raise of 4.3 per cent in the amount Band D households pay for policing within their council tax bill – this rise equates to 83p per month. 

Residents also have to pay a share of the council tax precept to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority.


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