Horncastle Town Council votes to freeze 2015 tax bills

Coun Maurice Lamb - proposed the motion not to increase the Town Council's share of bills
Coun Maurice Lamb - proposed the motion not to increase the Town Council's share of bills
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Horncastle Town Council will not increase its share of council tax bills this year - even though its own funding has been cut by 32 per cent.

The council’s precept last year was £96,154 - the amount it needs to cover the services it provides

That meant the council’s share of council tax bills for a Band D property was £47.48.

This year, the precept has increased to £98,331. At the same time, though, the number of Band D properties has also increased to 2,071.

That latter figure - combined with a programme of savings - means there is no increase.

The news comes after the rate support grant the Town Council receives from East Lindsey District Council was cut from £11,321 to £7,698 - a reduction of £3.623 , the equivalent of 32 per cent.

Councillors voted unanimously to back a proposal by Coun Maurice Lamb not to increase bills.

The council, though, will use £1,636 from its general reserve fund to help balance the books.

Councillors did consider two other options - one involving an increase in tax bills and another a decrease.

If the council had not used any cash from its own reserves, bills would rise by 1.65 per cent.

Alternatively, councillors could have voted to take a bigger sum from its reserves - £3,813 - and that would have led to a fall of 2.2 per cent in bills for a Band D Property.

However, the council’s finance officer, Amanda Bushell, did not recommend either of the latter two options

It is not all good news. Average council tax bills will still increase because of planned rises imposed by East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Police Authority.

Some parish councils will vote for increases.