Precept rise stays at its original rate

RESIDENTS in Pegswood will pay a little more for their locally-run services.

The village’s parish council has agreed to increase its council-tax precept for 2014/15 by 3.5 per cent to £91,950. Properties in the average Band D section will pay an extra £3.70 compared to the current financial year.

At a recent meeting, clerk Kevin Cassie asked members to consider putting the rise up to 5.8 per cent as a result of the authority taking on the responsibility for the former bowling green in the Welfare Park.

He said that after asking a firm for information, the costs involved for the site, including maintenance and insurance, would be about £2,000 a year. But councillors decided to maintain the rate of increase at 3.5 per cent.

Chairman Simon Willcox said: “I believe it’s important to stick to what we agreed for the precept, particularly as people will take most notice of the percentage increase.

“I think we can cover the amount we need for the former bowling green elsewhere in the budget or from the reserves. I’m also very surprised that it would cost so much and we should approach other firms to find out what they think.”

Coun Julie Stephenson said the rise should not go up any further as the authority would be able to meet the costs from its reserves.

The forecasted general income of £2,610 means the expenditure total for 2014/15 is £94,560. It will be divided as follows: Admin and accommodation – £40,480; communications – £5,410; maintenance of parks and open spaces – £30,610; on-going community projects – £7,060 plus £17,600 from reserves for additional schemes; grants and donations – £11,000.