THE people of Langport will face a 28% rise in the town council's precept in the upcoming financial year.

This equates to about £1 a week or £51.28 a year for residents of Band D properties.

Chairman Chris Osborne said some of the services the council supports, including youth clubs, public toilets and transport, could have struggled to continue if the changes were not brought in.

He added: “There were long discussions but people need to look at this change with some reality - it is a third of the price of a pint of beer every week.”

Councillors agreed to raise the gross precept from £69,500 to £81,085 because they say there is no guarantee the £11,000 government grant they received for 2013/14 will be given in future years.

Mr Osborne said: “If we knew we had the grant every year we could keep it all the same and get on with it just about.”

The town council precept is just one of the elements that make up the overall council tax charge and it is the only one which the council has control over.

Cllr Val Saunders, who is on the finance committee, said: “We felt there was no other way forward and what has been agreed made common sense for the town.”

Town clerk Robin Williams said it is part of a three-year plan.

He added: “One of the most noticeable changes for town and parish councils, including Langport, is a significant alternation to council tax base - which determines the number of Band D properties in the area.

“The fewer properties in the council tax base, the higher the Band D charge will be and in Langport's case it dropped from 381.68 properties to 297.81 for 2013/14.

“If we had decided to keep the gross precept the same and deducted the grant, Band D payment would have increased from £182.09 to £194.47.

“That means even though we would have been asking for 16% less money, in total, from council tax payers in the town, Band D households would be paying nearly 7% more.

“The increase would be lower for tax bands A, B and C and higher for properties in tax bands E, F, G and H.”