Council tax set to rise in Polegate

Hailsham town centre
Hailsham town centre
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Polegate Town Council will increase council tax this year to help fund a number of projects.

Hailsham Town Council has agreed a 0 per cent rise for the sixth consecutive year.

A spokeswoman for Polegate Town Council said a number of projects needed to be financed in the town including the provision of public toilets, after Wealden District Council said it could no longer finance the toilets in the High Street. The district council said it had offered to help with the cost of taking over Polegate toilets.

The town council also said street lighting in the town is ageing and many replacements are required as are improvements to drainage at Brightling Road Leisure Ground and changes to the council offices in the High Street to improve accessibility for residents who wish to attend town council meetings. The spokeswoman said: “These additional costs are compounded by the shortfall created by the reduction of the grant Polegate Town Council receives from Wealden District Council. This grant will continue to reduce by 10 per cent per year until it no longer exists, so Polegate Town Council may have to increase its precept year on year to cover the shortfall if it is to maintain services.”

The percentage increase that will show on the Council Tax demand will be 21.29 per cent, which equates to £13.68 per household per year on a Band D property (26 pence per week).

Hailsham Town Council said it agreed to a 0 per cent rise.

At a Full Council meeting held on Wednesday (January 15), it was agreed the overall budget would be £876,889 for the new financial year - 2014 to 2015, which is a decrease of £16,230.00 from last year. Council tax for a Band D property in Hailsham will be £114.69, the same as the previous year.

Finance and Budget Oversight Committee chairman Cllr Chriss Triandafyllou said: “We have taken into account the continuing financial pressures on residents.

“We have helped residents to fight the credit crunch by freezing council tax for six years running now and we hope to limit increases in our share of the total council tax bill as much as possible in the near future by continuing to review our service delivery.

“The Council Tax Support Grant provided by Wealden District Council has been reduced by 15 per cent from the grant received for 2013/14 and it is likely that the grant will be reduced further next year also. In light of this the town council has challenged its officers to make budget savings during the past year so additional money can be reinvested in local services and facilities.”

Town Clerk John Harrison added: “We have shown that, with careful financial planning, we can achieve this cut, without affecting core services.”