Harden Parish Council members have approved an increase in the local precept in order to fund a range of initiatives.
The precept is local taxation collected at the same time as the Council Tax and distributed to Parish Councils by Bradford Council.
In setting a budget for 2018/19, Parish Councillors allocated additional budget of £1,000 to the maintenance and phased replacement of benches in the village, many of which are in urgent need of repair and maintenance.
Having received approval for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area, the first stage in developing a Neighbourhood Plan, budget of £2,500 was allocated towards consultancy and printing costs. The Parish Council will be applying to The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for a grant to cover most of the costs associated with developing a Neighbourhood Plan for Harden.
Budget of £2,500 was allocated towards additional play equipment in the park.
An allocation of £1,500 was made towards professional fees to assist the Council to take forward an allotments project, following a recent petition from local residents for the provision of allotments in the village.
The 2018/19 precept for a Band D property in Harden will increase to £25, from £20 in the current year. This represents a 25% increase and will raise a forecast £20,475. In setting it’s budget for the year, the Parish Council earmarked the use of reserves to the sum of £1,500, to supplement the precept and to enable the Council to deliver the projects planned.
Councillor Gerald Jennings, Harden Parish Council Chair, said, “The Parish Council appreciates that any increase is unwelcome but we hope that village residents will look at what has been delivered in the current year, and what we have planned for the year ahead, and consider that a precept increase of less than 10 pence a week at Band D represents excellent value for money.”
A copy of the budget spreadsheet, showing comparisons with previous years and how the precept was calculated, can be downloaded here (PDF 28Kb).
In 2016/17 the UK average precept was £57.40 at Band D and some 399 Local Councils increased their precept by more than 35% (source BBC Survey into Local Council Tax Bills).