Anger at Rottingdean parish tax demand

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

A tiny parish council has come under fire for demanding thousands of pounds more from residents.

At a meeting earlier this month Rottingdean Parish Council voted to increase the annual amount of cash it requests from taxpayers to £45,000 – a steep rise of more than 66% since 2011.

One angry resident said the rise was “worrying” but the council’s deputy chairman defended the decision as “quite reasonable”.

By law parish councils are allowed to raise their precept as much as they want, while district and borough councils must not raise tax by more than 2%.

Councillor Ken Humphreys, Rottingdean’s deputy chairman, admitted the council’s fear that parish precepts might be capped for the first time next year had influenced the decision to boost taxpayer takings.

He said: “There’s no doubt that the possibility of a cap next year meant the council was keen to put the rate up.

“But this money is also much needed. There’s the new toilets being repaired on the seafront and we have to pay about 50 to 60% of that.

“The only way we can get these toilets repaired is if we shell out for it.”

Difficult to justify

But Coun Humphreys, who abstained from the vote, also suggested it was difficult to justify demanding more money from hard-pressed residents.

He said: “I disagreed with the rate going up last year but I was outvoted so I have gone with the majority. That’s democracy.

“But I did think that we should keep the precept the same, because we do have quite a bit in the bank and people are finding it tough at the moment, even if we are asking for quite a small amount of money.”

The council was plunged into turmoil in October last year when it lost nearly half its nine members, as well as its clerk, due to resignations.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is very worrying that the parish council can set any amount it wishes to be collected from residents of Rottingdean parish.

“Last April the parish council promised the rise would be a one off. Residents cannot refuse to pay this extra money.”

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Comments (3)

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10:36pm Fri 25 Jan 13

John Steed says...

maybe they should also send a bill to those saltdene residents who give their address as such and such a road, "rottingdene" that would probally double the dwellings liable.
maybe they should also send a bill to those saltdene residents who give their address as such and such a road, "rottingdene" that would probally double the dwellings liable. John Steed
  • Score: 0

1:27am Sat 26 Jan 13

Mr Sworld says...

Lies, **** lies and statistics...

So how much per household does this cost?
Lies, **** lies and statistics... So how much per household does this cost? Mr Sworld
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Sun 27 Jan 13

0nthec0ast says...

Not lies but totally misleading. The increase compared with last year would amount to about 7p per week for those in Band A ( the lowest ) and about 22p per week for the very highest Band H.
That I think puts into perspective.

Also, the fact that 4 out of 9 Parish councillors decided to step down for various reasons did not mean that the council was 'plunged into turmoil in October' and is a total irrelevence.

Perhaps the journalist, Bill Gardner might like to pursue why Rottingdean residents are having to fund a considerable portion of the cost of rebuilding the public toilets on the seafront that have been allowed to reach a disgraceful state of disrepair by Brighton and Hove City Council.
Not lies but totally misleading. The increase compared with last year would amount to about 7p per week for those in Band A ( the lowest ) and about 22p per week for the very highest Band H. That I think puts into perspective. Also, the fact that 4 out of 9 Parish councillors decided to step down for various reasons did not mean that the council was 'plunged into turmoil in October' and is a total irrelevence. Perhaps the journalist, Bill Gardner might like to pursue why Rottingdean residents are having to fund a considerable portion of the cost of rebuilding the public toilets on the seafront that have been allowed to reach a disgraceful state of disrepair by Brighton and Hove City Council. 0nthec0ast
  • Score: 0

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