Rise in share of council tax for Horncastle residents is revealed

Money.
Money.

Town councillors in Horncastle have agreed to a near 22% increase in their share of annual Council Tax bills.

That equates to an extra £12.74 for owners of a Band D property.

Councillors took the decision at their monthly meeting last night (Tuesday).

They agreed to increase their precept - (the amount needed to cover costs in the next financial year) to £154.542.

However, Mayor Coun Brian Burbidge had to use his casting vote to pass the new budget.

Councillors had discussed a lower precept rise which would have seen overall budget savings of around £9,000.

They had the choice between the lower rise - and what amounted to the 21.84% increase.

The initial vote was locked at 5-5 with Coun Burbidge backing the bigger increase.

Councillors heard the extra revenue was needed to cover increased costs and more responsibilities in 2018/19.

Coun Burbidge said he hoped the increase would be offset by a smaller rise in 12 months’ time.

Clerk Amanda Bushell said the lower rise would lead to cuts - and potentially another bigger increase in 2019/20.

Town and parish councils are coming under increasing pressure as larger authorities attempt to balance the books amid substantial cuts in Government funding.

The town council rise is the first in what could be a quadruple ‘whammy’ for residents.

County, district and police precepts are all set to go up and there are suggestions a Band D household could face up to a near £100 increase in tax bills for the coming year.

*See next week’s Horncastle News for a full report on the town council meeting.