Residents hit with local tax hike of 111%

RESIDENTS in Eastfield are looking for answers after finding their parish council has upped its tax precept by 111 per cent.

This year’s council tax bill has seen Eastfield Parish Council increase its precept from £32,120 to £68,168 in one move.

The 111 per cent increase compares to an average Parish Council tax increase of 5.5 per cent.

As a result of the rise residents will this month have to start paying an extra £2 each month for a Band D property.

The Evening News has been contacted by locals in Eastfield looking for the reasoning behind the rise. Clive Hague, a resident of Harvest Way, wrote to say: “I am not averse to the way in which the precept money is being spent but like everyone else I am subject to fuel, energy and food increases and if there is anything left over from the pension increase then surely it is my decision what to spend it on.

“Doesn’t seem too fair, either, on working people whose pay has been frozen.”

Mrs J Scrase of Pindar Road, echoed Mr Hague’s views. She said: “I too was very much taken aback by this massive increase in council tax compared to past years.

“I was not anticipating having to pay any more council tax, knowing it was frozen for another year, and think it should be frozen or capped in future in line with inflation or this could escalate in years to come.”

Following comments Eastfield Parish Council chairman Cllr Brian Simpson has highlighted where the extra money will be spent, claiming the parish will benefit from four new projects this year.

He said of the precept £15,000 will go towards the Dell Rangers, £10,000 is to support Westway Boxing Club and the work it does with youngsters, £5,000 is going towards the library, and £500 is being contributed towards the Cayton Bonfire.

Cllr Simpson said: “Once I have explained how the money is being spent to people they have been quite happy with it.

“In percentage terms it may be quite big but in monetary terms its not. All the money that is raised in the precept is spent in Eastfield, for the benefit of the community.

“Residents do get a say in how it is spent too as every year £15,000 of the precept is decided by Voice Your Choice. It was also widely publicised within Eastfield our intentions for the precept and where it would be spent.”