Precept to fall by 6.5 per cent

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Pinchbeck Parish Council has set its share of council tax – known as a parish precept – at a grand total of £30,000.

That means people living in Band D properties will pay £16.80 for 2013/14 for services carried out by the parish.

The new sum is £2,000 less than the current year, a fall of 6.25 per cent.

Total expenditure for the 2013/2014 year is expected to be £64,395, but that will be offset by anticipated income of £22,545 as well as a contribution from reserves which currently amount to nearly £16,000.

Commenting on the fall in payments, Coun Richard Dobbs said: “I think it’s down to really good housekeeping.”

A number of new items were placed in the estimates for the coming year.

These included:

• £1,000 for dog poo bins (four)

• £3,000 for ongoing repairs at the sports club building at Leaves Lake Drove Playing Field

• £1,000 for tree maintenance

• £3,500 for removing a hedge in Market Way to make it safer for pedestrians

• £2,000 for election costs

Parish council chairman Andrew Bowser said the council’s finances reflected years of good management.

“We are in good shape and it’s a fact that, over the years, it has been well managed,” he said.

• The council has faced criticism at its pre-meeting public forum for spending cash on grass cutting in churchyards, but the council says it is under a legal obligation to cut the grass.

Members heard the council had made a £216 saving on this year’s grass cutting budgets for the churchyards at St Mary’s and St Bartholomew’s – actual spending was £2,640 compared to the budgeted £2,856.