Council defends tax increase as major projects continue

SNC Council Tax scam.'091202M-E087
SNC Council Tax scam.'091202M-E087
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Taxpayers are being urged to attend budget meetings as residents react to an increase of more than 50 per cent over the past two years in the demand from Brackley Town Council.

This week residents opened 2013/14 council tax demands and saw zero per cent increases in demands from Northants County Council, South Northants Council and Northants Police.

However many were surprised to see a 23.4 per cent increase in the BTC demand –following a last year’s 34 per cent increase.

Former mayor Geoff Wilkins said: “In these austere times, when many of our residents are struggling to pay their heating bills and to put food on the table, it is disgraceful the town council can do this while at the same time wasting thousands of pounds of public money paying for white elephants like the unwanted climbing stones in Egerton Field.”

In a statement BTC said some of £520,000 was being added to reserves for a major restoration of the town hall, and the council was in the process of purchasing the Old Fire Station.

Councillor Gwen Rhys, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the increase amounted to 40p a week for a band D property. She said the council was also responsible for keeping play equipment in a safe condition, emptying dog bins and maintaining open spaces.

She said members take their responsibilities seriously and the budget was set after ‘lengthy debate.’ She added members of the public were welcome to attend meetings and added: “I look forward to seeing many residents at our meetings this coming October and November when we’ll be setting the 2014/15 budget.”