In the November Minutes (extract below), this is the statement on the budget increase. It would have been clearer for residents if the increase had also been stated as 40%, and not ‘average 50p per week’, which provides limited quantitive information and implies a minor change. So I was rather surprised when the rates demand was received this week. I could not find on the website the 2019 budget, and which major projects require such an increase in our taxes.
Members noted from the previously circulated budget proposal recommended by the Finance & General Purpose Committee that the inclusion of continued funding of the Neighbourhood Plan project, together with a number of other projects, resulted in a proposed increase following a number of years where little change had been seen. Members noted that the increase would equate to a rise in the average Council Tax bill for residents of some 50p per week and that, following the conclusion of some of the projects, the amount required in future years could, indeed, be reduced.
Thank you for contacting the council and I apologise for the delay in responding.
I quite take your point regarding the method chosen in detailing the amount of the increase. In future, it would be clearer to show both the percentage increase as well as the financial impact to council tax payers of the increase.
The largest element (£17,500) resulting in the increase relates to the anticipated costs during the coming year of proceeding with the Neighbourhood Plan (details of which I am happy to share with you, although I appreciate you may already be aware of this project).
Other increases budgeted for are £5,000 for maintenance of council assets around the parish, an increase of £1,500 for pavilion repairs and £1,000 for signposts, benches, etc., etc.
With thanks for your interest and, again, apologies for the delay.
Malcolm Ramsden – Clerk East Hoathly with Halland Parish Council
Tel: 07948 496760
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