Parish council defends 66% rate rise
RESIDENTS in a rural village have spoken of their anger as they face one of the highest tax rate increases in the county.Villagers in Sibton, near Peasenhall, are unhappy that the parish council has put up its precept by 66.
RESIDENTS in a rural village have spoken of their anger as they face one of the highest tax rate increases in the county.
Villagers in Sibton, near Peasenhall, are unhappy that the parish council has put up its precept by 66.4% for the next financial year.
The parish tax for Band D properties in the village is set to rise from £16.24 to £27.03 from April 1 and the council's total budget will increase from £1,500 to £2,500 for the coming year.
A villager, who wished not to be named, said: “I'm not very happy about it at all and I don't see what the village gets from it at all.”
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He said the St Peter's Church seemed to be flourishing but claimed there was nothing else in the village that seemed to have been worked on.
“We don't get anything for the village,” he said. “Yet we've got the highest tax rise out of anybody in the area.”
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Residents in neighbouring village Peasenhall have seen their parish precept increase by 8.3% and nearby Yoxford's has risen by 7.69%.
Fellow villager Barnaby Milburn said it sounded like quite a big hike but admitted he did not really know what it was for.
Parish clerk Jude Ilett said the precept had been artificially low for the last three years and time had caught up on them.
She said: “It's been £1,500 for the last three years and that was only enough to keep admin costs ticking over but we couldn't afford to do anything in the parish.
“Councillors felt that there would be a new council in May so we should give them the opportunity to do some work in the village and not just to keep admin costs ticking over.”
She said the council wanted to put one solar-powered light up in the parish but it cost more than £3,000, which it was not able to afford.
“We've put it up to £2,500 because we weren't sure how much the election was going to cost and we need to make sure we have enough for that,” said Mrs Ilett.
“But the extra £1,000 isn't that much when you think about it because it's going to cover the election and then some hedge cutting and maintenance.”
In Colchester, Little Horkesley is putting up its parish tax by 195%, Wakes Colne is increasing its precept by 170% and Dedham by 93%.