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Lymington and Pennington council tax to rise after Covid hits finances

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Lymington and Pennington Town Council offices
Lymington and Pennington Town Council offices

COUNCIL tax in Lymington and Pennington is set to increase after councillors revealed how badly the town’s finances had been hit by the pandemic.

Its share of the overall bill will grow by 2.01% to £110.14 – adding £2.17 for a band D property in 2021/22.

At the finance-setting meeting councillors were told it had been “especially difficult” to formulate a budget as it was almost impossible to predict what the council’s revenue would be in the coming year.

The market and sea water swimming baths had both been badly hit by the lockdown, leading to a sharp decrease in the amount of money both normally bring into the council.

The current combined council tax bill for 2020/21 for the average band D household in the New Forest is just over £1,836, made up of demands from parish, district and county councils, plus the police and fire services.

Cllr Andy Ash-Vie commented: “We should be doing our tiny little bit to reverse the direction of this massive deficit, doing our tiny bit to reform the tax burden.

"This is a step in the wrong direction. What we have is a continuation of the status quo. I don’t think I can support it, with regret.”

Cllr Alan Penson pointed out the uncertainty was almost certain to continue next year, adding: “We suffered quite badly due to the pandemic. We are not sure about incomes we will receive in the future.

“We will have to see how things will pan out, if they will improve, or as we forecast in the budget.”

Cllr Andrew Gossage felt that as spending was “dependent very much on what income we receive through the year” it should be reviewed in a few months, which councillors agreed to do.

An inaccurate quote attributed to Cllr Andy Ash-Vie was removed from this article on 4th January 2021.

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