Cost of hall pushes up tax bills

PINEWOOD residents have had an increase in their total council tax bill of more than six per cent, but the Government will not be intervening to peg it back.

PINEWOOD residents have had an increase in their total council tax bill of more than six per cent, but the Government will not be intervening to peg it back.

The parish council held a referendum four years' ago asking residents if they wanted a community hall, on the understanding that it would have to be financed by a council tax rise.

Residents overwhelmingly backed the project, and the �800,000 cost of the building earlier this year has pushed up the parish council precept in Pinewood by 145.1pc.

Parish council clerk Sandra Peartree said: “Our portion of the overall council tax bill is so small that a relatively small increase in financial terms translates into a large amount in percentages.

“Despite the increase, the council tax on a Band D property in Pinewood is just �1.63 a week for parish services.

“We went ahead with the community hall have received a massive endorsement from residents in a referendum. People accepted that they would have to contribute to its financing. I am pleased to say the hall is now booked for every Saturday until August.”

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She added: “We have kept our council tax down low for years which is why this next precept looks disproportionate.”

One resident unhappy at the increase is Tony Hasnip, of Greenspire Road.

The total council tax bill for his Band E property has gone up to �1,803.50, which he describes as “horrendous,” adding: “What an eye opener - it's a huge amount of money to pay a year and the bill for parish services has increased by �61.07.”

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