10:00am Saturday 18th January 2014
By Stuart Minting
MANY town and parish councils are set to raise their tax demands after Hambleton District Council decided to retain a Government grant for the 107 smaller authorities in its area.
Despite an appeal from Communities minister Brandon Lewis to council tax billing authorities to pass on funding to compensate for reductions in the parish tax base, Hambleton has decided to keep the grant of around £100,000 to enable it to freeze its council tax demand while not cutting any of its services.
Ken Browse, chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, said the majority of billing authorities nationally were passing this on in full, but the Yorkshire Local Councils Association said district councils in North Yorkshire were split over the issue.
Ryedale and Hambleton councils have decided not to pass the grant on as their Scarborough and Harrogate counterparts have opted to give parishes the full funding. Richmondshire is set to pass on part of it and Craven and Selby councils remain undecided.
It is understood Thirsk Town Council, which was due to decide upon its precept tonight (Friday, January 17), was likely to set a slight increase as a result of Hambleton’s decision, while councillors in Bedale are set to raise their demand by ten per cent, partly to help cover the loss of revenue.
Northallerton Town Council is expected to freeze its tax demand on Monday, but members said they would be forced to look elsewhere to fund some projects.
Northallerton councillor John Coulson said: “It is very disappointing. At times I wonder if we are recognised for the very important role we play in the town.”
A meeting of Sowerby Parish Council heard Hambleton’s decision meant it would be forced to raise its demand from residents by 4.09 per cent, meaning the average band D household would pay it an extra £1.67 for 2014-15.
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