Council tax to rise in Ross-on-Wye after town council agrees to take on assets

Ross Market House is part of the package being taken over by the town's council.

Ross Market House is part of the package being taken over by the town's council.

First published in News

PEOPLE in Ross-on-Wye will see their council tax rise by more than £20 after the town's council this week agreed to take on a number of assets.

The Market House, the Old Chapel, the Rope Walk and Caroline Symonds Gardens will all be transferred from Herefordshire Council's control to Ross Town Council.

Car parks in Crossfields, Homs Road and Wilton Road are also included in the takeover, as are public toilets in Wye Street and Red Meadow.

The total running and maintenance costs for the assets totals £105,000.

Therefore, tax payers will be asked to pay an additional £20.79 for 2014/15 - up 38% - for a Band D household.

Councillor Chris Bartrum told Monday's meeting that the precept has not not gone up for five years and the Town Council now has a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to ensure that the buildings are not sold.

"There are great risks in that the assets proposed are very old and need regular care, but there are maximum benefits with minimal costs for the residents of Ross," he said.

A public meeting held at the Larruperz Centre on Friday resulted in the vast majority of residents saying that they were in favour of the transfer.

Meanwhile, Hereford City Council has backed a 15 per cent rise in its council tax precept for 2014/15 to pump extra money into keeping public toilets open.

The increase amounts to an extra 11p per household per week.

As proposed, the city council will take on three public toilets, including Union Street and Union Walk, as it looks to cover services cut by Herefordshire Council.

Councillor Jim Kenyon, chairman of the city council’s community development committee, said consultation showed public toilets to be a number one priority.

Under the plan, users will have to pay 20p for each visit to help with the cleaning and maintenance of the facilities.

Extra funding raised through council tax will also pay for city events and repairs to paving slabs in High Town.

Discussions between Bromyard Town Council and Herefordshire Council are also ongoing to decide whether the town council can take over responsibility for the Tenbury Road car park.

The town council has also agreed to raise its council tax precept by 10% for 2014/15.

And, Leominster Town Council is looking into taking over a number of car parks, as well as the retail markets on Fridays.

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