Higher precept but lesser expense for villagers

BLEADON Parish Council has raised its portion of the council tax bill – but residents will actually pay less than last year.

The authority has increased its precept from �35,000 to �37,500, but because of a change in boundaries there will be more households within the parish to divide the bill.

This means that a Band D household will pay �70.08 a year - �2.91 less than the previous year.

Parish councillors discussed the precept at their monthly meeting last week.

Clerk Bruce Poole said: “We don’t want to be faced with North Somerset Council coming along next year saying it is withdrawing services and then we find we are stuck if we don’t raise the precept.”

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Councillor Keith Pyke said: “This is a one-off opportunity to raise income without hurting anybody.”

But Councillor Robert House said the precept was already very high and was ‘historically’ the most expensive.

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He added: “Just because the money is available doesn’t mean we have to grab it.”

Mr Poole said that the council has kept the precept within �500 for the last three years and it had already agreed to spend �16,000 from its reserves for planned projects.

Cllr House’s motion to keep the precept the same was defeated and the majority voted in favour of raising it.

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