Holbeach precept rise kept to a minimum

PRECEPT RISE: Coun Terry Harrington called a three quarters of a per cent precept rise by Holbeach Parish Council "acceptable".  Photo supplied.
PRECEPT RISE: Coun Terry Harrington called a three quarters of a per cent precept rise by Holbeach Parish Council "acceptable". Photo supplied.
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Holbeach Parish Council has ensured that council tax payers in the town and surrounding villages face only a minimal rise in council tax next year.

Less than 50 pence will be added to council tax bills for 2017-18 after parish councillors agreed its annual budget at a meeting on Monday.

The £197,868 budget, up from £196,400 in 2016-17, proposed for the next financial year covers areas including allotments, cemeteries, playing fields, Carter’s Park and the Coubro Chambers council offices in West End, Holbeach.

Coun Paul Brighton, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said: “It hasn’t been too difficult this year and we’ve got on top of some of the expensive bits like investing in a new fence at Carter’s Park.

“We’ve got some more investments planned there as well and, at the same time, we’ve kept most of the chairman’s (Coun Isobel Hutchinson) wishlist within our plans and managed to cope with the increase in the minimum wage.

“We didn’t want to increase the precept any more than we needed to and, therefore, we’re fairly happy with what we’ve got.”

We didn’t want to increase the precept any more than we needed to, therefore, we’re fairly happy with what we’ve got

Coun Paul Brighton, chairman of the finance committee, Holbeach Parish Council

Last year’s precept, or share of council tax to pay for parish council services in Holbeach, was £196,400 which resulted in an annual charge of £63.03, based on an average Band D property.

The 0.76 per cent, or £1,494 precept rise, equates to an extra 48 pence on the average Band D council tax bill.

Ex-parish council chairman Terry Harrington said: “I’m quite pleased with the figure that the finance committee has come up with.

“We have to look at this budget with the ratepayers in mind and it wouldn’t have been a terrible thing if we could have gone down to a minus figure.

“But looking at all the figures in the budget, a 0.76 per cent precept rise is acceptable.”

Meanwhile, parish councillors are to consider introducing a small charge for charities who want to hire a room at the council offices for their meetings.

Coun Harrington warned: “We need to have a level playing field for all charities.”