Our Council Tax Precept
At its Council meeting held on the 19th January, the Town Council set is Council Tax precept for 2015/16 at a figure of £855,050, which will mean an increase of 2.04% on the Council Tax for an average Band D property within the town.
During the debate on the precept, Councillors from both main parties and the independents expressed regret in having to increase the local Council Tax at all in these difficult economic times. However, for the second year running, Chiltern District Council has decided to reduce the amount of the central government grant it passes on to town and parish councils to mitigate against reductions in Council Tax income.
In 2014/15, Chiltern District Council reduced the grant passed on to Chesham Town Council from £111,618 to £60,320 and, for next year, the figure will be reduced again by a further £17,234 to £43,086. This figure of £17,234, in itself, represents a figure in excess of a 2% rise for an average Band D Chesham property. It was therefore agreed at the Council meeting that, while far from desirable, an increase to cover the loss of this grant figure was fair to protect services.
The Town Clerk, Bill Richards, commented: "The Town Council bitterly regrets having to increase the Council Tax at all. However, Chesham Town Council's Council Tax levy only represents around 6.5% of the overall Council Tax bill for Chiltern District. The increase of 2.04% on a Band D property equates to less than 4 pence per week and indeed the percentage increase is actually slightly less than the amount we have lost from the reduction in Council Tax Mitigation Grant. Considering the many services we provide - Lowndes Park and all our other parks and open spaces; the children's play areas which we are continuing to renovate; the Elgiva Theatre; the Chesham Moor Gym & Swim centre with its open air swimming pool; the Town Hall; the Cemetery and the allotments - we do not consider the rise unreasonable, in light of the lost grant. In fact we have only been able to set what is, in effect, a zero increase on our services because of the continuing, good income-generating performances of both the Elgiva Theatre and Chesham Moor Gym & Swim."
Further details on the Council's agreed budget can be obtained from the Town Hall by contacting the Town Clerk or the Finance and Contracts Manager, Stephen Pearson.
Published: 21 January 2015
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