Ludgershall Town Council (LTC) is completing the purchase of a building in the High Street in a bid to “improve facilities for the council office and create a community hub”.

The council is purchasing the former Salisbury Plain Health Doctors Surgery at 10-12 High Street for £230,000 with a 30-year loan.

The council has also decided to spend a further £30,000 on changing and upgrading the internal layout of the building, including new doors, fire alarms and CCTV.

The decision to purchase the building by obtaining a loan was taken in August 2021.

In a statement on its Facebook page, LTC said: “LTC has been paying rent on the current property and have known for some time that the space was becoming too small. Due to Covid-19 this necessity was highlighted even more.

“LTC has investigated many avenues and to purchase 10-12 High Street (rather than rent) made a lot of sense. It will combine the larger office space we require, and we will be able to bring back the community hub, use of public PCs and a printer.

“Since covid-19 and the cessation of online meetings for local councils, we have had to pay for the venues for our meetings, because the office was not big enough to social distance, this building will provide a large meeting room so this will not be necessary unless a public meeting is required.

“Therefore, saving rent and hire charges. An added bonus is that one section is earmarked for a pop-up shop for residents of Ludgershall to use, the detail of the use is still to be confirmed and agreed by Insurers.”

There have been objections from a number of residents regarding the proposed plan as the council had recently agreed on the proposed 2022/23 Precept of £230,173 which would mean a rise in Council Tax for a D-rated house of £2.08 to £134 per annum.

However, defending the decision, the council said in its statement that this is the “lowest increase in council tax for some time, although the inflation rate rose to 4.6 per cent in November 2021”.

“LTC have managed to balance their budgets so that residents of Ludgershall do not have the same increase on their council tax.

“Ludgershall Town Council only receives a small portion of your annual council tax bill which currently stands at £132.02 per annum so with the £2.08 this will be £134.10 per annum.

“This helps to pay for the upkeep of the following: a town cemetery, two allotments, free public toilets, free car park, a large recreation ground, two play parks, skatepark, three memorial gardens, there are a couple of other areas around the town that also fall under LTC’s remit.

“Within LTC’s areas we must maintain, the trees, benches, bins, play equipment, grounds maintenance of the cemetery, allotments, recreation ground, car park, toilets and all the administrations around this.

“There are also projects for the future for the refurbishment of certain areas and LTC must budget for those as well. As I am sure you are aware that some anti-social behaviour damage to some of LTC’s property has occurred over the years and this also costs to repair. LTC also puts on some fantastic events each year, some are free some are very much subsidised, and we always get great feedback.

“The costs of running these events can be costly for example a road closure can cost around £900 and that is just one item. Also, within this remit comes to the Christmas lights & Santa’s sleigh, these need maintenance and the cost of putting up and taking down lights is around £2,500.”

The report of the decision on purchase can be viewed here

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.