Anger over Horndean’s nine per cent council tax increase

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COUNCIL tax payers in Horndean have been hit with a double whammy.

As East Hampshire District Council agrees to the maximum two per cent rise in rates, Horndean Parish Council has also agreed a whopping nine per cent rise.

There is no cap on how much a parish council can ask for its portion of the precept but angry residents say it is not fair at a time when households are struggling.

John Tipple, of Chestnut Avenue, said: ‘You may have thought that despite being free of the capping restraints imposed by the government on district and county, our parish council would have made an effort to follow the example of others who have shown such commendable fiscal restraint.’

The increase works out at £6.61 – a total of £80.05 a year.

The district council’s portion of council tax works out at £137.30 for a Band D property.

Lynne Evans, chairman of the parish council, said it had little income other than its precept and the only other income comes from renting public halls and charging for football pitches.

It also supports the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the costs to run the website and newsletter.

Cllr Evans said: ‘Services that the parish council provides include the provision and maintenance of six recreational parks, football pitches, public open space, grass cutting, strimming and litter picking, woodland and heathland conservation, provision of litter and dog bins, management and maintenance of two community halls, a closed churchyard and providing community grants.’

She went on: ‘The council recognises that any tax increase is unwelcome but had to recognise that a number of its costs have risen by a great deal more than inflation and that if it had not raised the precept, it would have had to cut services, reduce their quality and postpone the long-overdue and much requested improvements to its two community halls.’

Councillors voted eight to two in favour of the increase.