The Full Council meeting of Woodley Town Council on 7th February approved the Lib Dem group proposal to maintain the precept charge to residents at the same level as last year.
Beth Rowland, Lib Dem leader of Woodley Town Council, said “I think it is important that the council continues to respond to the difficult financial situation faced by many families in Woodley and this is the third year in a row that Woodley Town Council will have kept the precept at the same level. Our officers have responded very well to the need to improve efficiency in everything the council does and this has enabled us to continue invest in the future of Woodley whilst retaining the precept to residents at the same level”. Beth added “The council has had to make difficult decisions to target its limited grant funds on those groups which provide a direct service to Woodley residents and therefore next year the council will stop funding the MICE information van which currently comes to Woodley Town Centre on Mondays. MICE have provided a good service over the last decade, but the world has changed, and Lib Dems feel that the £3500 which was requested by MICE to maintain the service in Woodley town centre, on Mondays only, could be better targeted on supporting the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, ARC, Readibus and other groups which provided a direct service to Woodley residents in need”.
At the meeting the Conservative group suggested that increasing the fees for swimming clubs using the Bulmershe swimming pool would have enabled the council funding for MICE to be maintained. Phil Challis, Lib Dem deputy leader of Woodley Town Council, said “Lib Dems reject this concept. Providing activities at affordable prices for residents of Woodley, especially our youth, is more valuable and important for maintaining our community than providing a van in the town centre, one day a week”. He added “It appears that if the Tories had their way the charges at Woodley’s sports facilities would be increased to remove any subsidy. I am pleased that Woodley Lib Dems will continue to invest in our community by encouraging participation in a whole range of sporting and cultural facilities, right here in Woodley”