COUNCILLORS have claimed residents would be “double-taxed” if Stourport Town Council had accepted the offer of a new splash pad.

Wyre Forest District Council presented the town council with two water facility options but both were declined.

Accepting would have resulted in Stourport’s council tax precept being increased further, they said.

Town councillors felt taxpayers were already paying for water facilities as part of their district council contribution and refused to increase the town’s council tax share from £3 to £4 for 2013/14.

Options given by the district council included an offer to pay for a splash pad facility, which involves pressure pads activated by children, at Stourport riverside and hand over running costs of £6,000 a year to the town council or to hand over maintenance costs of the existing paddling pool at £12,000 a year.

Conservative councillor David Little said: “Stourport Town Council would very much welcome a new splash pad but why does Stourport have to foot the bill for th emaintenance?

“We pay our council tax to Wyre Forest District Council, it maintains two pools in Kidderminster and one in Bewdley. Why is it,when it comes to Stourport, we have to pay again? It’s double-taxation.”

Mayor Gary Talbot cast the deciding vote which saw eight councillors decline the splash pad and seven vote in favour of raising council tax by another £1 to pay for it.

Labour councillor Jamie Shaw said the issue was a leftover problem from the local Government reorganisation in 1972.

Mr Shaw said: “It was a case of charging an extra £1 on the council tax or having no public facility there. They would rather lose the facility.”

He added that now the “only option” for the district council was to look for a private contractor to take over the paddling pool at the riverside which could mean that residents and visitors would have to pay to use it.