WEYMOUTH town council is looking at a £6.51 annual increase next year for the average Band D home in the area.

The suggestion is based on a broadly stand-still budget, taking into account a likely 3 per cent staff pay award, and a small number of budget increases.

If agreed the 3.5 per cent increase in precept will give the council a revenue budget of £3.48million for the year from April 2020.

The council’s finance committee, which meets next week, (Wed 18th), is being told that should it wish to set a lower precept it would need to either find substantial expenditure savings and/or increase income.

A 2 per cent increase in precept would require £50,770 of savings on the current budget to be found and a nil increase £118,120.

The proposed budget figures include a £60,000 transfer from reserves, money which was set aside to fund the set up costs of the new council.

Current town councillors can claim a £1,000 a year allowance, which is suggested remain at that level. Not all councillors claim it. A report says that if this were to be increased to the maximum suggested of £1,300 per year the additional cost would amount to £8,700 in the year.

The committee is being asked to recommend a precept level for the coming financial year for approval at a full council meeting on January 8th.

The report to the committee comes with a warning that the figures may yet change, depending on the new Government’s settlement to local councils which had been expected before Christmas, but may not now be announced until the New Year.