WEYMOUTH Town Council is shortly to set the precept it charges to residents for next year. We should not increase the tax.

Last year Dorset Council set up the new Weymouth Town Council.

We were heavily criticised at the time for not giving Weymouth enough money, it wasn't the case at the time and history has proved that.

In the middle of worst financial crisis in a generation Weymouth still has money to spend, we have recently passed proposals to spend some money on unexpected path repairs, for example.

Compare this position with Lyme who are considering selling their assets and borrowing, Weymouth is in good financial shape.

Which cannot be said for many of our residents, furloughing, reduced hours and redundancy are affecting people all over town.

We should do what we can to help, by not increasing the precept this year. Could I even argue a small reduction would be appropriate.

We know Dorset will have to increase their Council Tax, like Weymouth their income is down but more severely so. Unlike Weymouth, though, their costs have increased enormously. They are expecting to spend £3.5m on PPE kit alone this year. Last year they spent almost nothing. They ran a huge shielding exercise. The cost of transporting children, especially those with special needs, has gone through the roof because the transport must be socially distanced. There is a long list of extra spend. Government contributed, they will spend their reserves but it will still not be enough, Council Tax will have to go up.

In Weymouth we can afford to do our bit, so we should. Freeze the precept.

Or maybe even reduce it?

Cllr Tony Ferrari