Parish council hikes its tax precept by over 44 per cent

Euxton Library is one of the community assets which could be protected by the increase in parish precept

Euxton Library is one of the community assets which could be protected by the increase in parish precept

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Residents living within the boundaries of Euxton parish will see an increase their council tax for the first time in seven years.

The parish authority has bumped up its share of tax or precept by 44.2 per cent.

At a full council meeting, members agreed that as of April an average Band D Council Tax payment will increase from £24.37 to £35.14.

Katrina Reed, chairman of EPC, said: “The increase equates to £10.77 for an average Band D property which is less than 90 pence per month and residents on this band are now having to pay £1.38 more this year than was paid in 2009, due to the fact that for the last seven years this tax has been reduced.”

As well as providing for projects, such as the Millennium Green Pond and replacing the equipment at Greenside Play Area, councillors in Euxton have created a new budget called Services Provision. The money could mean the council might be able to provide towards future projects if they become under threat from cuts. Projects could include protecting the Library or the bus services in the parish.

But residents in Buckhaw, some of whom live within Euxton’s boundaries, want to see more projects in their patch of the parish.

Coun Matthew Lynch represents Buckshaw and had about 20 complaints about the increase in one day. He said: “All the projects are going on in what you might call old Euxton. Buckshaw residents want some long term plans for the parish to take on one or two projects within their area.”

Its not the first time a parish council has raised its tax precept to protect local services. Last year Longton Parish Council increased its council tax precept by more than 253 per cent. Councillors argued they wanted to save the only bus serving New Longton, connecting it with Preston and Longton, with the monies collected.

Unlike other precepting authorities, there is no cap on how much a parish council can charge.

Coun Lynch said: “Parish councils have the ability to increase their precept as much as they want. Can parish councils fill holes then in certain services?” He added that if the trend were to continue and parish authorities were to increase their tax precept with the view of protecting key services the funds should be ring-fenced.