Oswestry residents will face a higher-than-expected council tax rise in order to help fund a “renaissance of youth services” in the town.

Councillors voted to request a 15% increase on last year’s precept, worth around £8.90 per year for a Band A property, in order to help cover anticipated management costs for the Oak Street youth centre.

The town council is currently negotiating to take over the building from Shropshire Council, but say it needs around £250,000 worth of repairs to make it fit for purpose, with a report highlighting serious concerns around the roof and heating system of the 12-year-old structure.

The increase would be used to create a £50,000 revenue budget to meet business rates payments and cover day-to-day maintenance costs for the centre, with a separate programme of capital works planned to patch up the building.


Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, January 10, Green Councillor Duncan Kerr had implored fellow councillors not to waste the chance to acquire the centre, and set a revenue budget to support the council’s ambitions for youth services in the area.

“I believe it would be a dereliction of duty to the next generation who lacking a vote cannot speak for themselves,” he said.

“We have budgeted for the capital necessary to repair the constantly leaking roof which would otherwise undoubtedly result in the closure of the building sometime soon. Be in no doubt if we don’t secure this building now it will become another mothballed and scaffold clad shell like the Cambrian building.

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“Without a revenue budget there can be no renaissance in youth services in Oswestry.

“This proposal may incur some small upfront costs but will deliver long term benefits and savings to the community of Oswestry I hope all members of this Council will support it.”

As part of the plan, £10,000 would be released from the Oak Street capital budget to establish a fund aimed at helping local business take on town centre properties that have been empty for more than 6 months.

Funding was also approved for a range of capital projects, including £250,000 for repairs to the youth centre should it be taken over by the town council, and £500,000 for the establishment of a new splash park and master plan for Cae Glass park.