Precept rise due to loss of support aid, admits Holbeach councillor

Holbeach Parish Council chairman Cllr Isobel Hutchinson.
Holbeach Parish Council chairman Cllr Isobel Hutchinson.

Holbeach council tax payers will see their bills rise by £2 for the coming year because of extra staffing costs.

The loss of a £6,755 fund for people on low incomes and pensioners to help with their council tax bills led Holbeach Parish Council to raise its precept from £194,650 in 2015/16 to £196,400 for the coming financial year.

The biggest problem we have is we’re no longer getting the council support grant from South Holland District Council, normally 3.5 per cent of our precept

Cllr Paul Brighton, finance committee chairman, Holbeach Parish Council

Councillors agreed the figure because of new rules requiring council workers to be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme and the launch of a national living wage for over 25s.

Finance committee chairman Cllr Paul Brighton said: “The biggest problem we have is we’re no longer getting the council support grant from South Holland District Council, normally 3.5 per cent of our precept.

“We also have additional wage costs this year because of the national living wage and workplace pensions, so we’ve done really well to keep the precept rise to the level we have.”

Cllr Isobel Hutchinson, parish council chairman, said: “The district council has removed the grant that they usually give so that was already going to mean a huge hike.

“Outside of that, we’ve only increased the precept by less than one per cent as we were mindful of trying to keep it as low as possible.”

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