Jill Hope

Northamptonshire County Councillor for Sixfields - a Lib Dem campaigner working all year round, not just at election time Learn more

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Shock at new Parish Council tax

by Jill Hope on 1 June, 2013

On May 16 I had a fascinating experience. I went to the first ever West Hunsbury Parish Council meeting (which falls in my County Council Division of Sixfields).

This is the parish council that most residents didn’t want – including almost all the elected councillors. Most of the candidates that said they wanted a parish council were not elected!

One of the new councillors asked if the parish council tax (‘precept’) already charged for 2013/2014 could be refunded. The answer was ‘No’!

The new councillors intend to ask everyone in West Hunsbury what they think about the parish council and what they want it to do.

What a pity Northampton Borough Council’s original consultation wasn’t competent in the first place.

It was reported that at least £25,000 would be needed to run a parish council of this size. Why then, is the tax raised £75,000?

And just how was the level of tax decided? Astonishingly, the Conservative councillor decided that this was what people should pay!

That was it!

No detailed consultation, no minute financial analysis.

But it gets worse: the Tory borough council originally wanted to set a tax of £162,000. They wanted another £86,000 from West Hunsbury for their ‘own purposes’.

People were so angry that the borough council backed down, at least this year.

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