St Neots residents can expect to “not notice any difference” as town council sets Council Tax precept for 2014/15

08:48 21 January 2014

Improvements are set to be made to parts of a footway between Little Paxton and Priory Park, St Neots.

Improvements are set to be made to parts of a footway between Little Paxton and Priory Park, St Neots.

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Residents “should not notice any ­difference” in the St Neots Town Council part of their Council Tax bill for the coming financial year.

The precept has been set at £882,796 for 2014/15, which works out at £85.75 for a Band D property – up from £84.23 on the previous year, a £1.52 increase.

The council has said it will also reduce expenditure by five per cent to the lowest in five years – promising the savings will happen without cutting services or impacting on the town’s financial reserves.

Town clerk Ed Reilly said: “There is no change to the services. We did some restructuring with the staffing through natural wastage when peopleleft and we have made reductions in our ­administration budgets, so we have been able to deal with it. Residents should not notice any difference.”

The council had been left with an £80,000 hole on last year’s funding when Huntingdonshire District Council gave parishes one-off grants to cover money lost from the Council Tax Support Grant – funding that was cut through changes to the welfare system last year. This was £81,639 for St Neots Town Council.

Last year, the town council used the grant against its 2013/14 spend, enabling it to set a precept of £845,164 and pass the savings on to taxpayers.

The budget for 2014/15 was passed by councillors 16-1, with one abstention.

Final Council Tax bills should be known in the next few weeks after other local authorities finish setting budgets.

Cambridgeshire County Council is looking to pass a 1.99 per cent increase on its part of the Council Tax bill – by far the largest share. For a Band D property this would mean an increase of £21.87 – a total of £1,121.94.

Huntingdonshire District Council has yet to confirm its precept – last year it was £133.18 – while Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service will freeze its part of the bill at £64.26 at Band D.

Cambridgeshire police will increase its Council Tax demand by 1.96 per cent – bringing Band D to £181.42 from £177.93.

Overall, St Neots residents in Band D were last year billed £1,559.67.

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