Town council agrees two per cent tax rise in Hailsham

Hailsham Common Pond

Hailsham Common Pond

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Hailsham Town Council has agreed a two per cent increase for its share of the council tax this year.

The council tax precept, the total quantity of money the council will take from the council tax payer to run the services provided by the town council from April 2015 until March 2016, was agreed on January 14.

A spokesman for the town council said a precept of £890,585 has been requested of Wealden District Council and, based on this decision, council tax for a Band D property in Hailsham will be £116.98, a two per cent increase on the previous year - totalling £2.29 per household per year.

Cllr Chriss Triandafyllou, chairman of the town council’s Finance, Budget and Resources Committee, said: “The town council has challenged its officers to make budget savings throughout the past four years so that additional money can be reinvested in local services and facilities for the community.

“Our precept has not increased in the last three years in line with inflation, so the overall precept represents a decrease in real terms.

“When considering its annual precept for the financial year 2015/2016, the town council has taken into account the impact of new legislation resulting from the gradual devolution of services from county and district authorities to town and parish councils, a year by year reduction in the grant given by Wealden District Council, as well as rising costs across the board and an urgent need to sustain and further develop growth in the community.”

Town Clerk John Harrison added: “All local authorities have a public duty to keep council tax increases to a minimum and for the last four years, despite significant increases in expenditure, the town council did its bit to fight the credit crunch by freezing its share of the council tax.

“The council’s decision to vote in favour of a two per cent rise for the next financial year, though, was a difficult one for them to make. However, the budget proposals represent our commitment to protecting the town’s essential services for residents and our focus now will be to continue to ensure all services are run as efficiently as possible.”

A spokesman for the town council added that council taxpayers should be aware that only a small per centage of the council tax demand goes to Hailsham Town Council - the remaining percentage goes to Wealden District Council, East Sussex County Council, the Police Authority and the Fire Service for the services they provide.