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2023-24 Parish Precept

27th February 2023 @ 6:06am – by Tarvin Parish Council
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2023-24 Parish Precept

Each year, the Parish Council (PC) makes a request, known as the Parish Precept, to Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) in order to support its activities for the next twelve months. In 2022-23, the precept for the parish amounted to £46,600. This equates to £35.15 per annum for a property assessed at Council Tax Band D (most Tarvin properties are at Band D or below). The overall CWaC Council Tax for a Band D property in the parish is £1,709.23 for 2022-23.

The precept is used to deliver the PC's mission to support the local community and to provide those extra facilities which make the parish such an attractive place to live. These include supporting local community and charitable organisations, installing and maintaining play and exercise equipment on the playing field, tree maintenance and hedge and grass cutting, street lighting and decorating the village with Christmas trees each year.

The PC's policy over the last few years has been to keep any increase as low as practical in order to support residents, indeed it has frozen the precept on four occasions in the last seven years with no increase in the others above £1.50. However, the current year has been difficult for the PC as regards funding. At the time of the last request in early January 2022, the most recent available figure for inflation (CPHI) was running at 4.6% pa. and the PC submitted a precept increase of 2.4% (or just 82p for a Band D property). Since then, the PC has experienced a huge increase in electricity costs for the 24 street lights for which it is responsible together with a higher-than-expected local authority pay settlement (including the 1.25% increase in Employers National Insurance for eight months) and maintenance and repair charges for the play equipment. The impact of these unanticipated costs is that the PC will need to utilise almost of its 'general reserves' to cover the precept shortfall in 2022-23.

The PC are now looking to set a precept for 2023-24 and have acknowledged that they will need to substantially increase the level in order to order to accommodate these unavoidable cost increases and maintain their support for local parish activities, such as those mentioned above. The PC therefore propose to increase the precept for a Band D property by £6.56 to £41.71 per annum. This is a significant increase in percentage terms but the PC believe that the actual monetary increase is justifiable and necessary in order to maintain the level of service provided to and expected by residents.

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