20 Jan 2013

Randwick Parish Council meeting

Well on Thursday the Parish objected to the incinerator - see here - as always the evening saw many other issues being discussed - minutes will be available soon on their website.  The possible improvements to the playing field took a step forward. I updated on the meeting regarding Ruscombe Valley and the sewer relining, there was a discussion about new contracts for grass cutting and how best to do that....

....and next years budget and precept were discussed at some length....you see there is a strange offer this year...From April 2013, Council Tax Benefit will be abolished and a new local council tax support scheme will replace it. The current scheme is fully funded by the Government and administered by the district council. The new scheme will see a reduction in funding of 10% which will be paid directly to precepting bodies i.e. the district council, the police and the county council. The parish and town council share of the funding will be paid to the district council. Click read more to see more.
So that means that the district council will receive £240,762 in 2013/14 that relates to the parish share of the funding. We will receive a lower amount in 2014/15. So we have to come to a voluntary arrangement with parish and town councils as to whether and how the funding is paid. Now this is where it gets more complicated - if we opt to pay the grant, the Parish will need to reduce the precept by the amount of grant they will receive and the lower amount will become their precept. The lower precept divided by the lower tax base SHOULD mean the Parish council tax Band D rate will not change as a result of the introduction of this scheme. However, there have been other changes made to the tax base that will mean your band d rate may be different.....

Because the new local scheme the District are implementing will not reduce the cost of council tax support in line with the reduction in funding, we have to also implemented some ‘technical changes’ to council tax - for example reducing some of the existing discounts currently being given on 2nd homes and empty homes. This reduction in discounts will fund the cut in the Government support for the local scheme - but it's impact differs in each Parish....oh my are you still with me??!!

I think Randwick have accepted the grant - although that doesn't mean it will happen as all Councils are part of that decision....of course the disadvantage of taking the grant is that the grant in future years will reduce in line with the reduction in funding. This means that band d rate will increase as there is less grant and this is without any increase - the Government has said it will review each year so a referendum could be triggered in future years in this area just because this grant has reduced!

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