A new town crier, a community orchard and an election fund could all be included in an Isle of Wight town council's budget next year, with a potential council tax hike.

Discussing its 2024 budget on Monday, Ventnor Town Council said it might put its precept up by 16.6 per cent.

That would mean the average Band D taxpayer would pay £28.32 more a year — or 54p a week — taking the total cost up to £198.89.

Last year, the town council put its precept up by 12 per cent.

The precept is collected from taxpayers at the same time as Isle of Wight Council's council tax and alongside funds for police and fire services.

Currently, Ventnor residents pay the third highest amount across the Island for their town council services, behind Sandown and Freshwater.

Ventnor Town Council is facing some challenges in its current budget after a £3,000 hike in insurance fees, an £8,500 overspend on beach safety and a potential £5,100 overspend at its Wellbeing Cafe, for temporary staff.

The increase to its precept would generate £10,000 for electrical works needed at Ventnor Park, £1,000 towards the creation of a community orchard and a £4,000 contingency fund put aside for any unexpected infrastructure costs.

A £3,000 election fund could be created to cover expenses such as printing ballot papers - a town council by-election was last held in September.

The budget also includes an increase in wages for staff.

The council will make its final budget decision in February, when the precept level for the year ahead will be set.