We looked back over the blogs we have written this past year and one stands out the most to us. One which affects many households across our wonderful District of Shepway
Town and Parish Councils can increase their Council Tax precepts by whatever percentage they wish. Hawking Town Council recently raised theirs by 52.049 per cent meaning residents in a band D property will pay an extra £23.21 per year.
Then SDC can add 1.99% to that amount.[The cap is 2% at District Level which triggers a referendum this is NOT the case at Town or Parish Level]. Stanford Parish Council increased their precept from 22.91 to 28.36 an overall increase of 23.8%.Why? Does it have anything to do with the lorry park? All in all, 11 parish councils increased their precepts in Shepway for the year 2015/16.
The 11 are: Burmarsh, Hawkinge, Ivychurch, Paddlesworth, Saltwood, Sandgate, Sellindge, St Mary’s in the Marsh, Stanford, Stelling Minnis and Swingfield.
Being well aware that the cap does not apply to Towns and Parishes, SDC appear to be offloading some of their non-statutory duties onto Towns and Parishes across the District but keeping the money that they would have had to spend on these duties.
This has resulted in many Town and Parish precepts rocketing and, in a growing number of cases, now being as much or even more than the precepts demanded by the District or Borough Council.
In a growing number of places these uncapped increases add considerably to the total increase in the CT bill, and push the total increase to over the 2% limit.
This is a loophole that needs to be closed.
Lobby Damian Noel Thomas Collins MP Folkestone & Hythe
@ Damian Collins MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Westminster office: 0207 219 7072 from mid Jan
or via his facebook page
He is on twitter too.