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Keighley Town Council tells ratepayers to ‘brace themselves’
6:00am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
Keighley Town Council has warned ratepayers to brace themselves for a severe impact on its precept for 2014-15 due to issues over which it has “absolutely no control”.
The council’s 2013-14 budget included a highly controversial 72.6 per cent record hike in its precept, much of which was required to prop up the council’s loss-making civic centre. The centre was revealed to be £74,000 in the red in February of this year, and £162,000 in the red in May.
The town council office has been tight-lipped on what the precept for 2014/15 is likely to be, and would only state that the budget for the civic centre would “probably be the same as last year”.
However, the council is confirming it faces additional losses of up to £73,541 due to Government changes and, it claims, the behaviour of a parishioners campaign group.
Town Mayor Councillor Sally Walker said the town council has been subjected to a campaign by an ‘unrepresentative minority group’ called Cavetown Council whose freedom of information requests are said to have cost the council £30,000 to £50,000. Cavetown Council spokesman, Elizabeth Mitchell, of Ingrow, Keighley, said: “We’re a loose group of parishioners who want the town council to be accountable, transparent and honest.”
Keighley Tory MP Kris Hopkins said the council must examine its salary base.