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Banbury Town Council has again proved it looks after taxpayers’ money and for the ninth year running is not increasing its share of the council tax bill.

Banbury Town Council has again proved it looks after taxpayers’ money and for the ninth year running is not increasing its share of the council tax bill.

The town’s charge is staying at £122.12 a year for Band D properties – a figure that was set in 2010-11 and hasn’t changed since.

The nil increase was announced at a meeting of the council on Tuesday.

Leader of the council Kieron Mallon said:

“It means we don’t waste taxpayers’ cash.

“We have demonstrated year upon year that we spend money wisely and as a result we are not burdening our residents with bigger tax bills.

“Services are not being reduced – we have never reduced the quality of our services. In fact, we are continuing to improve the things we provide.”

He said:

“2019 will see People’s Park celebrate its 100th anniversary and we are planning big improvements there. We have set £235,000 aside to create a café and provide toilet facilities to improve visitor experience at the park – and we are spending another £50,000 on making the footpaths better.

“We are also spending £125.000 on play area refurbishments at a number of sites including Howard Road and we are making improvements at St Louis Meadow.

“The council has agreed to purchase extra land in Hardwick to extend the existing cemetery. The new land will provide burial space for townspeople for the next 70 years and the purchase should be completed within the next few weeks.

“In addition, burial charges for town residents aged under-16 are being scrapped.

“To encourage sport, we are halving the cost of hiring cricket pitches for T20 matches.

“The council is planning to re-organise its grounds maintenance contract by bringing some essential services ‘in house’ including the upkeep of cemeteries and some parks.

Cllr Mallon added:

“We can do these things because we are now reaping the rewards of good policy decisions made in the past.”

The total council tax bill is made up of four elements. In addition to Banbury Town Council, levies come from Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council, and Thames Valley Police.

Banbury’s precept – the equivalent of £2.35 per week – is less than seven per cent of the total tax bill for Band D properties.

Cllr Mallon said:

“For the price of a cup of coffee every week – that’s per household, not per person – we provide cemeteries, parks, children’s’ play areas, the town’s free annual events, sports pitches, allotments, bus shelters, dog waste bins and we support crime prevention initiatives. That is excellent value for money.”

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