Pegswood precept increase

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PEGSWOOD residents have been warned that they are likely to face a significant increase in their local precept.

This follows moves by Northumberland County Council to transfer the responsibility for Pegswood Cemetery and the Welfare Park and Pavilion to the parish from next year.

It was explained to members that the unitary authority will use special measures to place the costs of services to the communities in which they are situated, and Pegswood is among the towns and villages that will have to accommodate the transfers of major services from 2013/14, which will impact the amount it needs to raise from local householders.

Next year’s budget plans are still being worked on, but it is already anticipated that the increase will be at least £40,000.

Parish Council Chairman Peter Stonell said: “We will need to decide how best to manage these services in the future because even if we do not take responsibility for them, the county council will place the costs directly onto the precept without reducing its council tax charge.

“This is especially disappointing following last year’s hard work by the parish council in not increasing the precept.

“But what is important is that we look into how these services can be managed locally and identify possible savings so the impact this year can be reduced, if at all possible, in future years.”