Monday, 11 December 2017
Benson Parish Council, which would face a bill of £4,000, has already complained, saying it has budgeted only £1,600 based on the £1,200 it paid in 2011.
Chairman Jon Fowler said â??Itâ??s obviously a big increase and we havenâ??t catered for it in the precept.â?�
He said the only option was to raise the precept, which would cost every council taxpayers in the parish more.
Vice-chairman Dave Rushton accused the district council of trying to make money, adding: â??I donâ??t believe it costs them Â£4,000 to run the election. How on earth can they justify that kind of money?â?�
Watlington parish clerk Kristina Tynan said the council had set aside Â£2,000 but might have to use other funds up to meet a potential cost of Â£4,000.
Parish councillor Tim Horton said the charge was likely to be â??quite substantialâ?�.
Philip Collings, parish clerk for Sonning Common, said his council had budgeted for Â£1,200, thinking that was â??reasonableâ?� but faced a bill of Â£4,000.
â??Thatâ??s Â£2,800 more than we planned, which does seem a lot,â?� he said. â??I donâ??t know if itâ??s going to be any less expensive if the parish election is not contested.
â??Itâ??s an annoyance because it means something that we have budgeted for will have to give way.â?�
Peppard parish clerk Linda Collison said it had Â£1,900 in its reserves for the cost of an election but the council was not expecting the parish coun-cil election to be contested. Goring parish clerk Peter Clegg, said the parish fell into the Â£4,000 bracket but members hadnâ??t made provision in the budget for 2015/16 as they werenâ??t expecting a contested election. The council currently has nine members with one vacancy, with another member stepping down.
Woodcote parish clerk Jenny Welham said the parish would fall into the Â£4,000 band. Councillors were due to discuss the issue at a meeting on Wednesday evening.
A district council spokes-woman said: â??The costs of elections are divided between the different elections and the figures were therefore provided for budgeting purposes.â?�
The calculations were based on the fees and charges agreed by the council in December and allowed for any unexpected costs.
The spokeswoman added: â??Unknown costs make a final prediction difficult. Parish councils will be advised of their portion of the costs after the elections.â?�
24 February 2015
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