Council Tax – Paying more than you should?

Parish Council funding has become a bit of a political hot potato within Kettering. Borough Councillor Jonathan Bullock says that “The Conservative manifesto of 2011 praised a new system of funding that would see Parish Council financing match the change in grant received from Government by Local Councils.”

“Despite this Kettering Borough Council decided to do away with grants for Parish Councils from May 2014.”  He added that he “campaigned against abolition of the grants which total approximately £80,000 across all Parishes within the Kettering Borough.”

Jonathan believes this could lead to a peculiar situation where facilities in Kettering Town are paid by the Borough, whilst similar facilities in Geddington and other villages will need to be funded by the Parish Council from their precept. This may also mean the disappearance of smaller Parish Councils who rely on this money for their continued existence.

Council Tax Demand notices have been delivered in the last few weeks, but despite Government urging, during the ongoing financial crisis, that Council Taxes be frozen, this hasn’t happened for residents of Geddington, Newton & Little Oakley.

At first glance it might seem that the increase is a mere 0.2% as the columns read as follows:
Northamptonshire County Council                  0.0% increase
Police and Crime Commission                          0.0% increase
Kettering Borough Council                                 0.0% increase
Geddington Newton and Little Oakley                 —–

Total Increase 0.2%

However if the 2012 and 2013 Geddington, Newton and Little Oakley Parish Council Precept is compared, the increase is 27.4%. If Kettering Borough Council is removing its payments to Parish Councils, should our Council Tax payments to the Borough Council not be reduced?

The Government has stated that the cap on Council Tax increases should not exceed 5% but Parish Councils are excluded from this cap, which many argue allows Borough and Parish Councils the ability to tax us twice for the same services.