FINANCIAL restructuring has meant Bridgwater Town Council has agreed to put its precept up by £3.51 on a Band D property for 2020/21.

Town council leader Brian Smedley hailed the work of the town clerk David Mears in reshaping the budget, so that the council could make 'savings not cuts', increasing the council workforce and boosting the property portfolio, while keeping the precept down.

By putting money into renovating the Town Hall, the building is now almost completely back in use, the council is making back money in leasing offices.

The council used money from the Community Infrastructure Levy to fix the damaged roof of Bridgwater Arts Centre, have been negotiating taking over the running of the building from Sedgemoor District Council.

Cllr Smedley added: “By taking over the cemeteries we are saving approximately £53,000 per year by bringing the management and ground maintenance in-house. At the same time we have now increased our direct workforce to 12 which means it has quadrupled in a year but this brings us up to where we ought to be."

The budget also includes a £5,000 tree replacement fund, and will continue with a £10,000 budget for youth.

Cllr Smedley said: "Bridgwater should be proud of these achievements and we hope the people will support our budget."