Bottesford puts up council tax share by 90 per cent

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Bottesford Parish Council has shocked villagers by putting up its council tax precept by 90 per cent.

The council agreed to increase its part of the council tax to £77,060 for 2013/14, up from this year’s figure of £43,500.

This means an increase for Band D properties from £30.25 to £57.74.

Leicestershire County Council and Melton Borough Council have frozen their share of the council tax for next year.

Ray Smart, a former pastor of the Baptist Church who runs a whist drive in the parish council rooms, said he was shocked by the increase and upset that rent on the hall was being increased by 15 per cent.

Mr Smart said: “To my astonishment I read in your newspaper that the aforementioned group have had the audacity to increase the parish precept by a sum which will cost the average council tax payer in excess of two pounds per month.”

Mr Smart added: “For some years now we have been running a whist drive in the village with some 40 or so members because apart from the U3A, there is little for elderly people to do.

“In order to fund the wishes of our unelected council, for the first time our rent is being 
increased by around 15 per cent.”

Ward councillor David Wright, a member of Melton Borough Council, said he was trying to find out why the precept has been put up by so much.

Coun Wright said: “It really is an enormous hike which is unprecedented among borough councils. The biggest I have seen was last year at Stathern which was 40 per cent. I have asked for information but I am in the dark as we speak.”

Bottesford Parish Councillor Gordon Alistair Raper said the council had been “prudent and appropriate” in setting the precept.

Coun Raper said: “The reason is we have been very much underfunded for many years. We have had some issues which we have had to take into account, one of which is the county council have stopped funding for the youth club, and we have to take account of the Neighbourhood Plan.”

The council has published a list of projects for the 2013/14 year which include an investment in playgrounds of £10,000, £4,000 towards a youth club upgrade and staffing, £2,500 for the creation of a parish office, and £20,000 towards the village/neighbourhood plan.