Friday, 15 February 2019
RESIDENTS of Benson face a 32 per cent increase in the amount they pay for servies provided by the parish council.
The council says it needs to raise its precept as its reserves have been depleted by “unexpected” expenditure.
The increase means the owner of a typical band D property will now pay £106.24 a year for the council’s services from April 1 compared with £80.24 in the current year, or 50p a week more.
This is in addition to the charges made by Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and Thames Valley Police.
The council said it had previously used its reserves to support the budget and keep the precept increases to a minimum but now these had to be built back up.
Meanwhile, Watlington Parish Council is to raise its precept by 3.3 per cent.
This means the owner of band D property will pay £113.20 a year for the council’s services compared with £109.58 currently.
Councillor Tom Bindoff questioned why the increase was based on the Retail Price Index figure rather than the Consumer Price Index which he said was more widely used and statistically accurate as well as being lower at 2.4 per cent.
“If you’re going to use an inflation figure you should definitely use one you can defend and everybody knows about,” he said. “You should not use RPI as it has been discounted.
“I think this year is going to be exceptionally difficult for many people financially so I think we should do our very best to keep the increase to a minimum.”
Councillor Tony Williamson said the RPI figure had been used for 20 years.
Councillor Jeremy Bell called the increase a “pitifully small sum” and added: “This council does an incredible job and it needs to be funded — that’s the justification.”
Councillor Andrew McAuley said: “I think people would be more upset if the services we offered started to deteriorate because we hadn’t asked for this money. I don’t think this is too much to ask.”
28 January 2019
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