HOLMES Chapel Parish Council has increased its precept for the next financial year.

At a meeting of the full council on January 9, Holmes Chapel Parish Council resolved to increase their precept for 2014-15 to £107,762.

This equates to a 1.7 per cent increase in the Band D amount from £44.21 to £44.97 – a 76p increase.

There was considerable debate as to whether the precept should remain the same or whether any increase should be smaller.

Ultimately, by a narrow majority it was decided to make the increase.

The council said it should be in a position to progress its projects such as highway improvements and play area refurbishments.

Also it is likely that extra expenditure may be incurred next year if services are to be increased in the village such as pavement sweeping.

It is also important that reserves should not be allowed to drop too low and cause a more dramatic increase in the precept in future years.

Clr Steve Ranger, chair of the council, said: “The increase is below the rate of inflation in a time when costs are rising above inflation. The parish council has managed to provide an increased service over the years without too much financial burden to our residents.”