Laura Sharman 02 November 2016

County leader hits out at precept capping for town and parish councils

Proposals forcing town and parish councils to hold costly referendums if they wish to increase tax by more than 2% have been labelled as damaging by county leader.

The Government is currently consulting on extending rules on tax rises to cover all councils with a budget of more than £500,000.

However, Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, called the plans 'a centralist sledgehammer to crack a nut'.

He also warned it could 'seriously damage' smaller communities' ability to help themselves and it threatens the government's localism agenda.

Mr Tett said: 'This is absolutely not a blank cheque for parish or town council to make big council tax increases. It does however recognise that they carry out vital work in their local communities, at very little cost to the tax payer.

'A key principle of localism should be that local people determine what needs to be spent and have to justify that to their own communities. If they judge local needs correctly then the community will support them. If they get it wrong then they can be thrown out of office at the next election.'

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