Brigg precept will rise for first time in several years

Brigg news EMN-140810-083954001
Brigg news EMN-140810-083954001

Brigg residents who live in a Band D property will have to pay an extra £1.18 a month on the Town Council rate in 2015-16.

In a lengthy and at times divisive debate, town councillors meeting in the Angel Suite accepted the recommendations put forward by the Policy Committee to increase the precept for the first time in several years.

It was set at £133,000.

In 2014, the town’s Christmas lights were renovated with councillors reporting festive delight from residents at the extra sparkle in the town centre.

It came as a cost, however, and the work is not finished.

Councillors wanted to see improvements to the east of the town centre and the project continued.

An alternative to increasing the precept was to opt for a standstill budget, an argument championed by Coun Rob Waltham.

He wanted to use Town Council reserves of around £25,000 backed up by possible additional funding from North Lincolnshire.

However, his proposal to do that fell on a majority vote, which was also a recorded vote.

Coun Mike Campion 
described Coun Waltham’s suggestion as ‘woolly.’

“It is bad planning for the future to use our reserves,” he told his fellow town council colleagues.

Town Mayor Edward 
Arnott was clearly under pressure in what was at times a feisty debate:

“Decimating the reserves is not good housekeeping,” said the Mayor.

Coun Chris Dyson then entered the fray.

“The Mayor should be impartial,” he told Coun Arnott.

“I am entitled to my opinion,” said the Mayor.

The lengthy debate ended with a vote to increase the precept.

Ten members voted in favour, six against and one member abstained.