Pickles tells parish councils to rethink council tax hikes
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has told parish councils to rethink average 3% hikes to their council tax precept - which he said are outstripping levies raised by the rest of local government.
Speaking at the NALC Larger Councils' conference yesterday, Mr Pickles urged local councillors to make sure they are not overburdening residents with increased taxes.
'It hasn't escaped my noticed that, at a time when most districts are freezing their council tax, the average parish precept has gone up by 3%. And the trend is seeing parish increases outstripping the rest of local government,' said Mr Pickles.
He added the DCLG was prepared to review principles governing council tax referendums, but demanded parish councillors 'square' any rises with their electorate. 'Can you really look your local folk in the eye?' Pickles asked delegates.
Elsewhere in his speech, the communities secretary said parishes should embrace neighbourhood planning to build proper neighbourhoods, asking them 'to choose activism not Nimbyism'.
Alvin - don't bother quoting facts, J Smith is only interested in his own ideology, not evidence.Local Government (south), Added: Friday, 7 December 2012 11:37 AM
A Google of Parish Precepts shows an average band D under ?50/Year. None seem to go to double digits. It would seem that at 3% we are looking at less than a ?3 increase a year. The average Band D parish precept in England in 2010-11 was ?44.55 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/7130/1765486.pdfAlvin Finch, Added: Tuesday, 4 December 2012 03:25 AM
or let them whither on the vine, as many are full of expensive & bothersome people?J Smith, Added: Sunday, 2 December 2012 08:41 PM
J Smith, Not sure I understand - if nobody votes then are you suggesting it is because everyone is happy with what the PC are doing? Or because they do too little? We are overgoverned, but from the top, hence my first comment. Ministers should leave PCs to take responsibility, make decisions, and justify them to the electorate, it is not a Ministers rresponsibility, so why is he worried about precepts - he should talk to the voters and tell them to stand for election to get precepts down.Lance Allan, Town Clerk, Trowbridge, Added: Friday, 30 November 2012 09:06 AM
A Clerk's salary is what ensures its decisions get carried out. It's good value. If more people stood as councillors, their work would be better understood. Posts like those of J Smith and David Owen depress the heck out of me. Pickles depresses me even more: he'll just pass the "choice" of which cuts to make to parish councils. Localism? Don't make me laugh.Fiona Cowan, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:30 PM
They do so little they could have a referendum on anything they wish to spend other peoples money on. If people vote for it, do it The number that vote will be an indication if the parish council is required We are over-governed and anyone who thinks democracy works in this country is in cloud cuckoo landJ Smith, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 07:46 PM
As Government loads down more responsibilities to Local Authorities whilst cutting their funding, these are Passing down "non-essentials" to Parishes. For a Parish of 2000 to take over a Public Toilet probably requires an increase of ?4 on average precept, probably more than 3%. Mr Pickles should think through the consequences of his actions and words rather than shooting from the hip. After all,our electors can comment at the ballot box next May.David Hughes, Cornwall Councillor, Member Tywardreath PC, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 05:30 PM
David, Is it any wonder when the govt doesn't give them any real responsibilities and controls the finances anyway - give the parish council real power and wee the candidates clamouring to stand. This is a backward step, its certainly not localism.Lance Allan, Town Clerk, Trowbridge, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 04:01 PM
My local Parish Council has just added a new ?1000 precept on top of its annual grant from the borough council of around ?3000. There hasn't been a full election in 15 years as there number of applicants never exceeds the number of posts available on the council. Local democracy is dead. Most of the budget is spent/wasted on the clerks part time salary and insurance and the cost of hiring the local hall for the 6 meetings a year. All pointless and toothlessDavid Owen, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:38 PM
I wonder if Pickles has told the Police Authorities to curb their expenditure!! Whilst District & County Council tax has been frozen there is simply no reason why the Police shouldn't do the same.David Hankey, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:32 PM
Tell Eric to stop fretting and get on with running a gov dept. If voters are unhappy about town council ? they can vote out the councillors at the next election and vote in those who support smaller ?. Decision by DCLG to end independence for P&T councils this week is BIG GOVT centralisation and the death of localism. Town councils with big rises are the ones which have competitive elections and public access meetings. Give us the responsibility and leave us to the electorate, Eric. Please.Lance Allan, Town Clerk, Trowbridge, Added: Thursday, 29 November 2012 01:59 PM
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