Monday, 21 June 2021

Councils agree precept rises of four per cent

RESIDENTS of Watlington and Benson will have to pay more for the services provided by their parish councils.

Both councils have agreed to increase their share of council tax by four per cent with effect from April 1.

In Benson the owner of a typical band D property will pay £80.24 annually compared with £77.10 this year. In Watlington they will pay £109.58, compared with £105.37.

This is in addition to the charge made by Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and Thames Valley Police.

Benson councillor Patricia Baylis said the rise was necessary, adding: “We need to make sure we don’t run down our reserves.”

In Watlington the parish council has taken on responsibility for services previously provided by the county and district councils at a cost of about £10,000 a year.

This resulted in a precept increase of almost 14 per cent last year and 15 per cent the year before that.

Councillor Tony Williamson, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the four per cent increase this year equated to 42p more per month for a typical band D household.

Vice-chairman Matt Reid said: “It’s good that it’s four per cent given the last large increase. I don’t think anyone could have stomached another double figure hike.”

Councillor Tom Bindoff added: “I can’t see anything you can cut.”

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