Lee Wilkes has kindly provided some additional information / background regarding the reasons behind the 29.8% increase of local Town Council tax allocation:
“So we have by now all received our Council Tax bills with respective increases, so I thought it worth explaining the reason for the Town Council element.
Obviously there are increases from District Council, County Council, Police etc etc as you will know. The Town Council have increased their portion by nearly 30%, which for a B and D property equates to approximately £1 per week.
So why do the Town Council feel that £1 a week extra is needed? Well the first thing to note is that it has nothing to do with Dog Parks, Ada Salter Gardens, Digital Signs, or anything else that has been budgeted for in previous year’s budgets. All of those things were planned and budgeted (or funded) before this increase.
There are 2 main reasons for the £1 per week increase a Band D property owner has seen.
1. We were told recently that Northamptonshire County Council were looking to close Libraries. The community of Raunds setup a Group to try and save the Library and approached the Council for financial assistance. We have no idea whether that is practicable and the Raunds Library Group are working hard to do all of the things they need to do, including getting volunteers. What we do know is, to try and retain any Library Service in Raunds, the Council Tax has to increase.
2. We believe that the fallout from the County Council debacle could mean that Town Council’s have to assume responsibility for some devolved services (that may include Children’s Services etc). Nobody at the moment knows what services the County Council may be unable to provide, so it is important that Town Councils try to plan for an unpredictable future.
We know that nobody likes increases in costs, none of us do. We are aware that some people without children would rather not pay for child services, some younger people would rather not pay for the elderly, I get told regularly by a gentleman who doesn’t own a dog that the Dog Park is a waste of money, and a few are vocal that the Children’s Play equipment is a waste of money as they don’t have children.
Nobody will be happy with every decision, and nobody likes to see costs rise. However the Town Council are in an invidious position, we have to try and plan for an unpredictable future to ensure as many services as possible are retained for the Residents, hence the £1 per week local increase.”