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Council tax rise despite cut by district
Published 17/03/14

RESIDENTS of Henley and South Oxfordshire will pay about £25 a year more in council tax from April 1.

Homeowners in a typical Band D property will be charged £1,570, a 1.7 per cent increase on last year.

Henley Town Council has increased its share of the tax by 2.2 per cent to £87 a year.

Oxfordshire County Council is to raise its share by 1.99 per cent to £1,208.41.

However, South Oxfordshire District Council is cutting its share of the tax by 2.5 per cent for the third year in a row and will now charge £114.68. It is the only district council in Oxfordshire lowering its rate.

Thames Valley Police has increased its share of the charge by £3.13 to £160.51.

Many parish councils in the area have also decided to raise their shares of the bill.The largest overall increase is in Sonning Common, where the council tax bill for a Band D property will rise by £33.92 to £1,547.50.

The parish council has decided to increase its precept by £16,500 to £99,000 to help fund projects including a new skate park at Bishopswood Sports Ground.

Householders in Pyrton will pay £1,487.28, £20.18 more than last year after Watlington Parish Council raised its share of the tax by £2.19 to £75.47 a year.

The county council is trying to save £200 million by 2017, which includes cuts to adult social care and funding of children’s centres.

Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “In 2010 we started a programme of reducing the budget by £201 million. By the end of this year we will have achieved £170 million of savings.

“However, the spending review announcement last summer meant we had to find another £64 million of savings, bringing the total to an eye-watering £265 million.

“The level at which we have set council tax represents a small increase of just 46p per week.

“This has enabled us to protect some vital services across the county against a continued background of steep decline in grant funding from central government.”

Councillor David Dodds, cabinet member for finance at the district council, said: “The savings have been stacking up and over the last few years we had underspends of quite sizeable proportions.

“That made us think perhaps we are taxing people more than we need to so over the last three years we have reduced the rate.

“We seem to have balanced out and it’s proving that the current administration is value for money.”

Reading Borough Council has agreed a council tax increase of 1.8 per cent, meaning Band D householders in Caversham and Emmer Green will pay £1,559.42 from April 1, an increase of £28 from last year.

Wokingham Borough Council is also increasing its charge, meaning that Band D householders in Wargrave and Crazies Hill will pay £1,540.94, up £28.59 on last year, while those in Charvil and Remenham will pay £1,495.29 and £1,536.63 respectively.

Published 17/03/14

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