Council Tax

Lichfield District Council collects Council Tax in Lichfield District. The money collected is used to help provide the services supplied by Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Police Authority, Staffordshire Fire Authority, local parish councils and Lichfield District Council.

The amount of Council Tax set depends on how much certain public bodies in our area spend and how much they get from elsewhere. The amount you have to pay also depends on which valuation band your home is placed in. Council tax represents about a third of total revenue expenditure, the rest coming from Government Grants, Trading income and council savings.

Taxes rise because public authorities spend more or earn less. Of course some costs cannot be controlled. If electricity costs more, we must pay more. Sometimes expenditure increases because central government passes law that has spending implications.  However careful control of expenditure, better management of assets and actively seeking alternative sources of funding have put our finances on a sound footing.

Parish Council Budget 2016 -2017

The Parish Council’s (PC) expenditure that cannot be met from fees and charges and grants, has to be met from the council tax payers within the Parish. This is collected from you by Lichfield District Council (LDC) and handed over to us in the form of a “precept”. Every November and December the PC estimates what money it will need to meet its commitments for the following financial year and consider the inevitable inflation affecting services already provided, and also to meet the costs of new initiatives. The PC owns a lot of land and assets within the parish which needs maintaining, including many trees which need tree surgery work, and the costs of this maintenance have to be estimated. At the same time however the PC has to recognise that the Government wants to ensure that you, the council tax payer doesn’t pay for large increases in council tax year on year and we have borne this in mind when producing our budget.

A significant factor for 2016-17 is the reduced grant that LDC will be giving to the PC. Because LDC has been subject to cuts in funding from Central Government, this has a knock-on effect on the grant parish councils receive from LDC. This grant was reduced by 15% (£600) for the current year and will reduce by a further 7% (£250) in 2016-17, to be followed by a further probable reduction of 11% in 2017-18 (£360). The total of these reductions in financial support are equivalent to a 3% increase in the PC’s precept. In addition to reductions in income, the PC has also to fund additional spending pressures. Next year grass cutting costs will increase by £1,150 due to possible additional parcels of land being taken over by the PC, caretaking costs will increase by £620 due to essential maintenance being required, a further £2,600 has been allocated for the tree surgery work mentioned above, and the PC needs to provide funds to enable the excellent work being carried out by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to be finalised.

The net effect of the above for next year is that the PC will need to raise an extra £1,418 in total from council tax payers, representing an increase of just 2.5%, or 96p per typical band “D” property. The PC’s part of your Council Tax bill will therefore increase from £38.42 to £39.38 for next year. Looked at another way the increase is less than 2p for each week for each property. Elsewhere in this newsletter there are details of both the new and established services provided by the Parish Council, and when the benefits obtained from these are compared to the small cost to you, we hope you consider this to be good value for money.

It is interesting to note that of all the Councils that raise council tax from you for their services, the Parish Council is the only one where the Members are completely voluntary and do not receive a “members allowance”.

The full budget details are included on the Parish Council’s website. Should you have any questions on the budget please email me via the Parish Clerk.

 

David Walton

Chairman of the Finance Committee

Every year during November and December the Parish Council (PC) has to estimate what money it will need to meet its commitments for the following financial year. It needs to cover the inevitable inflation affecting services already provided but also to meet the costs of new initiatives. The PC owns a lot of land and assets within the parish which needs maintaining, and as mentioned last year a lot of tree surgery work is required. At the same time however the PC has to recognise that the Government wants to ensure that the council tax payer doesn’t have to pay for large increases in council tax year on year. District Councils and County Councils have to limit their annual council tax increases to 2%, and whilst parish councils are exempt from this limit, we have borne this in mind when producing our budget.

The expenditure that cannot be met from fees and charges and grants, has to be met from the council tax payers within the Parish. This is collected from you by Lichfield District Council and handed over to us in the form of a “precept”. The key change for next year is the reduced grant that Lichfield District Council will be giving to the PC. This grant will reduce by 15% or just over £600. This in itself represents a council tax increase of approximately 1.5%. The other major spending requirement for next year is to provide funds to enable the excellent work being carried out by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to be finalised. A sum of £2,500 has been allocated for this.

The net effect of the above from April 2015 is that whilst the PC will need to spend more, it will not need to increase the council tax paid by residents. In effect over the last 10 years the increase in council tax levied by the Parish Council is less than 1% a year on average. Elsewhere in this newsletter there are details of both the new and established services provided by the Parish Council, and when the benefits obtained from these are compared to the small cost to you, we hope you consider this to be good value for money.

It is interesting to note that of all the Councils that raise council tax from you for their services, the Parish Council is the only one where the Members are completely voluntary and do not receive a “members allowance”.

The full budget details are included on the Parish Council’s website. Should you have any questions on the budget please email me via the Parish Clerk.

 

David Walton

Chairman of the Finance Committee

BUDGET INFORMATION 2015-2016