The town council has pledged more support for a community-run bus route - but will ask businesses to help fund next year’s Christmas lights.

Ledbury Town Council has recently undertaken its annual budget setting process.

The outcome of the 2024/25 budget process resulted in an increase of £8.63 a year to a Band D equivalent household.

Ledbury Reporter: The council will limit how much it spends on Christmas lights next yearThe council will limit how much it spends on Christmas lights next year (Image: Roy Davies)

This equates to £0.72 per month, which is an increase 4.79% on the town council’s precept request of 2023/24, of which 2.46% is the increase due to the cost of the funding for the Daffodil Line. 

While members were asked to consider a number of projects for the future, they were mindful that residents are struggling with the increased cost of living and wanted to ensure that they kept the percentage increase to residents of Ledbury as low as possible, while still being able to function. 

In 2023/24 the council, along with Newent and Ross-on-Wye town councils, provided £24,000 towards the Daffodil Line.

This funding was taken from the council’s general reserve which meant that the council could keep its precept request down and not burden local residents with that cost.

Buses 4Us, the group that runs the Daffodil Line, has asked the council for further support in 2024/25 and 2025/26.

The council will provide £16,000 in the next financial year and £8,000 the year after to the service, which it says is used by a number of school children in Ledbury and acts as a vital link to Newent.

Councillors agreed the money spent on the Christmas Lights in Ledbury could be better spent on other projects.

It was agreed to reduce the funds for any new contract for the lights to £15,000 per annum and to also contact local businesses to ask if they would consider donations towards the costs.

Some of the projects planned for 2024/25 include a new CCTV system at the recreation ground and council offices, some new play equipment at the recreation ground, the development of a scatter garden at the Ledbury Cemetery, and the installation of Speed Indicator Devices.