MAINTENANCE now accounts for 43 per cent of Kings Worthy parish council’s annual expenditure.

Councillor Malcolm Prince, chairman of finance, reported at the annual parish meeting that this winter’s bad weather has seen maintenance costs in the area soar in comparison to the previous three years.

He also said the parish council has set aside £10,000 for the coming year for the upkeep of trees.

Cllr Prince said: “We have put £10,000 by for tree works. We want it done by professionals, we owe that to the people of Kings Worthy.

“Maintenance now makes up 43 per cent of our expenditure with our green areas, parks, bus shelters – they all add to the cost that the parish council has, so that has increased quite dramatically.”

He also reported that the parish has £40,000 to spend on play and sport, and £135,000 in assets.