Parishes are forced to hike council tax...

MOST parish councils have now decided their council tax precepts for 2008/9 and householders can expect higher bills through the post.

MOST parish councils have now decided their council tax precepts for 2008/9 and householders can expect higher bills through the post.

In Weston, residents are facing almost a 50 per cent increase in their annual bill from the town council.

This means people living in a band D property will have to pay 28 pence per week more than last year for council services.

Council leader Cllr Keith Morris said: "It is less than the price of a chocolate bar and we feel it represents great value for the people of Weston."


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Residents in Banwell are also facing hefty hike of 37.5 per cent which has led to the resignation of two parish councillors over the issue.

Across the district, people will see an increase of more than eight per cent on average, compared to last year's figures.

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The lowest precept is expected to be from St Georges, which has not increased its annual charge to residents.

Some of the huge rises contrast with North Somerset Council's projected below-inflation increase of 1.9 per cent in 2008/09.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service increased its levy by 4.7 per cent this year and Avon and Somerset Police Constabulary was still calculating its precept as the Weston & Somerset Mercury went to press.

Last year, a band D property paid £147.17, which was an increase 6.8 per cent.

Residents in Burnham and Highbridge could see their bills increase by a quarter if agreed, which means a band D property will now pay £51.65.

The town council says the increase is vital to retain events and improve the town centre.

Residents in Sedgemoor will be facing a 1 per cent increase from the district council if given the go ahead and Somerset County Council is expecting to up its council tax by 3.79 per cent, which works out as about £36.51 extra for a band D property.

Below you will find a table including town and parish council precepts from your area.

Fact Box

THE Weston & Somerset Mercury has used a band D property in its figures because it represents the average household. Each of the levying authorities sets a total amount to be collected for households in their area. This is then divided by the number of nominal band D properties in the authority's area to reach the band D amount.

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