Council Tax payers face 10pc town hike
COUNCIL Tax payers in St Neots will have to find 10 per cent extra cash next year for the services provided by the town council. While the rise has been criticised by Conservatives on the parish council as an unwanted Christmas present , the ruling Lib D
COUNCIL Tax payers in St Neots will have to find 10 per cent extra cash next year for the services provided by the town council.
While the rise has been criticised by Conservatives on the parish council as an "unwanted Christmas present", the ruling Lib Dems have said the money is needed to pay for various projects for the town.
From April 1 2008, St Neots residents in band D homes will have to pay £7.05 more a year in the part of the tax that goes to St Neots Town Council. This represents a 9.2 per cent increase to £83.54 per household, compared with the existing rate of £76.49.
Further increases to the final Council Tax bill have yet to be added by Huntingdonshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the fire service and Cambridgeshire Police Authority.
The town council's Liberal Democrats said the increase is justified and would "represent excellent value for money".
Councillor Derek Giles, deputy leader of the council, said: "In the last six months since we came to power we have listened to what people have told us and have budgeted to carry out their wishes."
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The budget was set at the meeting of the full town council last Wednesday (December 5), with the Lib Dems saying the increase will help support 10 projects in the town.
They say the money would be used to pay for new bus shelters, completing the Eatons Community Centre, a new cemetery, refurbishment of the Priory Centre, grass cutting equipment, stalls for farmers' markets, refurbishing and renewing play equipment, commissioning a town plan, funding the youth council and additional grant aid for voluntary groups.
The Conservatives opposed the Council Tax increase with Cllr David Harty saying the hike "showed total disregard for the town's tax payers".
Cllr Barry Chapman (Con) added the increase would be "an unwanted Christmas present" for residents.
"The Conservatives unanimously opposed the increase and three Lib Dems abstained but the people of St Neots will not have the luxury of abstaining from this town Council Tax."
INFORMATION: Do you think the increase is justified? E-mail your views to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.