Published: August 25, 2010
Town councillors face tough decisions over service cutbacks

Council tax bills in Burnham-On-Sea could be set to rise and public services could be axed if the town council has to take over the management of more public services, it was warned this week.

Sedgemoor District Council has called on local town and parish councils to contribute towards the cost of certain services which it currently provides, including public toilets, dog waste bins and halls, as it braces itself for huge cuts in funding.

Sedgemoor's Corporate Director Alison Griffin has written to Burnham and Highbridge town council to find out which services it would be prepared to take responsibility for if the district council cannot afford to pay for them.

At a meeting earlier this week, town councillors raised their concerns about the proposals and said the standard provided to local residents could decline.

Clerk Eileen Shaw also warned that the town council's precept could also rise if it has to take on the extra services - potentially meaning higher council tax bills.

Mrs Shaw later told "The Town Council at this stage has no firm indication of the costs of the services Sedgemoor District Council states it is no longer able to fund."

"At the meeting of the Policy and Finance Committee, it was agreed that I should arrange to hold detailed talks with the District Council to find us the cost of services they wish us to consider taking over, and the most cost effective way of delivering these services."

Burnham town councillors are pictured above in their council chambers


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