Town council defends rise in council tax for people in Raunds
A council has released a statement explaining the reasons behind an increase in its share of the council tax bill.
Raunds Town Council has published the following statement on its website about how much people will pay in council tax for 2018/19.
It says their portion of the council tax has increased by £1 per week for a Band D property and offers an explanation on why the increase is necessary.
The statement says: “By now everyone in Raunds will have received their council tax bills for 2018/19, which include a number of increases from 2017/18.
“In addition to the increases from East Northants District Council, the county council and the police, the town council have increased their portion by approximately £1 per week for a band D property.
“So why do the town council feel that this £1 a week extra is needed?
“It is important to stress that this increase is not to fund the Ada Salter Gardens, digital signs, or any other items that have already been budgeted for.
“The main reason for the increase is that the town council wish to safeguard local services that may be cut as a result of the ongoing issues at Northamptonshire County Council.
“Libraries are threatened with closure and the town council are committed to working with the Raunds Library Management Group to try and retain a library in Raunds.
“The 2018/19 budget includes £40,000 towards the cost of purchasing the library building over 25 years, including any associated fees and annual property costs.
“The town council must still follow all due diligence around the possible purchase of the building, but wished to ensure that the money was available if it was required to purchase the building to secure the library for the town.
“The town council are also aware that the funding situation at Northamptonshire County Council may lead to other services, such as children’s services, being cut.
“The budget includes an allowance of a further £40,000 to fund children’s services and any other services that may be passed down in the future.
“Members of the town council considered the increase in council tax very carefully.
“The council has tried to come up with a budget that safeguards children’s and other services at a cost that the town can bear.
“Council members recognise that nobody will be happy with every decision and nobody likes to see costs rise.
“However, when setting its budget, the town council was in the unenviable position of trying to plan for an unpredictable future at a time when the outcomes of many factors were unknown.”