Friday, 12 August 2022

Council tax set to increase

COUNCIL tax bills across South Oxfordshire are set to rise by an average of 4.32 per cent.

The district council has agreed to freeze its share for the second year running but Oxfordshire County Council is increasing its demand by 4.99 per cent, the maximum allowed without calling a referendum.

Thames Valley Police's demand is increasing by 1.99 per cent while town and parish councils are requesting an extra 4.52 per cent on average. This means a typical Band D property will pay £1,711.03 compared with £1,640.13.

The increase will be slightly lower in Henley, where the town council is observing the ruling Conservatives' pledge to freeze tax for four years from May 2015. Sonning Common has also frozen its share, also known as a precept.

In setting its budget last night (February 16), the district council also agreed to set aside more than £1million in grants for community projects and a further £500,000 to roll out "super-fast" broadband internet in rural areas.

The authority also intends to launch a local lottery, the proceeds of which will benefit local charities and community projects, and allocate almost £99,000 towards new volunteering opportunities.

It will award grants for volunteers to take up new qualifications or cover their insurance costs and will set up a service linking potential volunteers with people in need of their help.

Councillor Jane Murphy, the council's cabinet member for finance, said: "I'm very please that, despite tough budget conditions, we're able to continue offering more than £1million to help community projects in our towns and villages."

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