Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Council Tax 2010/11

By now, Council Tax bills for 2010/11 should've dropped through letterboxes in the parish, and we can all see how much we'll have to pay for council services in the forthcoming year.

In the current straightened economic times, you'll hopefully be pleased to see that the Shilton Parish Council element of the Council Tax has gone down this year. This is slightly misleading because, as I told you in December, our overall budget has actually increased by 0.8% (from £15,580 to £15,700). However, because there's actually more properties in Shilton and Barnacle paying Council Tax this year, this means that the amount everyone has to pay towards the overall total is a bit less than it was this year.

Across the whole of the Rugby borough area, there are 37 parish councils that have set a budget for next year. These range from £70,000 (in Dunchurch) to £200 (in Willey). Shilton's budget of £15,700 is the 12th largest amongst those 37 parish councils.

Bearing these large differences in individual council budgets in mind, the services local residents will actually get from their parish council will clearly vary greatly from one village to another, and it's difficult to draw too many conclusions just by looking at overall budgets. And ultimately it's for the local electorate within each parish to decide whether their local council offers good value for money.

But I do draw one conclusion.

There is only one area in the borough that doesn't have a parish (or town) council, and that is the town of Rugby itself. Here, the services and functions that would otherwise be carried out by a parish council are undertaken by Rugby Borough Council. And the amount it charges its Rugby town residents to do the things that parish councils do is £64.58 per year for a band D property.

For the same services in Shilton and Barnacle, the parish council charges you £43.61 for a band D property. In fact, of the 37 parish councils who have set a budget, only four (Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Willoughby and Wolston) charge their residents more than Rugby Borough Council charges its residents who live in the town area. I think that this shows the value of parish councils, and their ability to deliver low cost services that meet the needs of local residents.

Remember this the next time you complain about the parish council costing you money!

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