Saturday, 28 November 2020

Tax rise to protect services

COUNCIL taxpayers in Watlington will have to pay more from April 1.

COUNCIL taxpayers in Watlington will have to pay more from April 1.

The parish council says it needs to set aside thousands of pounds to protect services in response to cuts by South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

The council has allocated £1,000 towards bus services as the county council intends to reduce funding for subsidised services.

It has also earmarked just over £2,000 for the maintenance of Watlington’s green spaces.

Almost £3,000 has been set aside for street cleaning as the district council is to withdraw half of its grant this year and half next year.

Another £2,000 will go towards providing new play equipment in the Paddock and £1,500 to help the children’s centre, which is under threat from proposed cuts by the county council.

The council has agreed to increase its share of council tax, so that a band D householder will pay £92.70 a year from April 1, up from £78.19.

Councillor Tony Williamson, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said: “It’s the largest increase I’ve ever seen in my time on the parish council.”

Council vice-chairman Matt Reid added: “In light of cuts that have been made I think it’s modest.”

A total of £7,000 will be set aside for the town’s neighbourhood plan — £4,000 toward paying Rachel Gill, the plan’s support assistant, £1,000 towards administrative costs and the remaining £2,000 as “seed funding” for the plan.

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