Aldwick council tax could be reduced

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A meeting next month will decide if Aldwick residents benefit from a cut in their council tax bill.

Parish councillors will debate whether they should reduce their precept on households in their area by ten per cent or keep it at £70,000.

The session for all councillors has been arranged specially for January 17 after an initial attempt to settle the matter on Monday failed because of a legal technicality with the council’s agenda.

Cllr John Bunderla-Davies urged councillors to reduce their take from residents by £7,000 in the year from next April.

“We have lots of money in the bank,” he said. “Even if we didn’t have any precept in the next financial year, and spent money at the rate we are now, we would not run out of money for two years. That’s how cash rich we are. In that situation, it’s wrong not to look at a reduction.”

He said projects which the council was considering, such as a new bus shelter and seat, cost little compared with the six-figure reserve which the council possessed.

But Cllr Greg Burt said it would be reckless to slash the council’s income at a time of such financial uncertainty.

He said: “We don’t want to be seen as somewhere councils can offload services on to, but I am mindful there might be things we feel passionately about as a parish council and want to maintain.”

Cllr Molly Myers said residents had benefited from two years of cuts in the amount which the parish council took from them.

“For two years, they have had quite a good decrease in our precept. I feel we might be going the wrong way by decreasing it once more,” she said.

“We don’t know what is in front of us. We might need to call on our reserves.”

Dr Tony Poland, the parish council’s chairman, said the £7,000 would need to be taken from reserves to maintain the current spending of the council.

The parish council’s precept makes up one element of the final council tax bill paid by households.