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councilCouncillors have voted for Gillingham’s precept to rise by just under 4 percent for the financial year 2023-2024.

On Monday night members of the town council agreed a total budget for the town of just over one million pounds – £1,042,990.

The same meeting also voted for a precept – the amount the council needs from local householders to pay for the budget minus any other income it has – of £1,020,559.

The increase means that local residents living in a typical Band D property will have to pay an extra £8.13 a year for the Gillingham precept, a rise of 3.52 percent. The extra payment works out as just under 68 pence a month.

At the start of the meeting mayor Councillor Sharon Cullingford told colleagues: ‘The town council need to take into account the significant impact that the cost of living crisis has had on peoples’ lives.

‘We recognise that any increase in the budget needs to be closely scrutinized and this needs to be balanced against the costs of delivering services; most of which have increased.’

Councillors went through the proposed budget in detail, reducing the expenditure by more than £40,000 until they reached the final total.

‘I think we’ve done Gillingham proud tonight,’ Councillor Cullingford said after the vote.

Dorset Council, whose budget makes up by far the largest slice of residents’ council tax, has already signalled that it will put up the council tax and social care tax by a total of around 4%, representing around £6 a month for residents in Band D properties. A final decision on this will be made by Dorset Council next month.

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