Have your say on paying for open spaces in Lewes District

Lewes District Council is asking people about the fairest way to divide up the costs of looking after open spaces like playgrounds, parks and playing fields in the district.

It said it aims to be fair and transparent about the council tax it charges residents.

At the moment some areas are looked after by town and parish councils and some by the district council, which now wants to see whether there is a fairer way of distributing the costs.

Councillor James Page, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “This is about a fairer system so that people don’t pay twice for the same open space which,

we estimate, 75 per cent are doing at the moment.

“It is not about the ownership or maintenance of the facilities, or charging town councils extra.

“We want to see whether there is a simpler and fairer way of distributing the costs, so please take part in the consultation – an online survey, which is open until October 31.”

The open spaces owned and maintained by Lewes District Council are not evenly spread throughout the whole district.

This means that the residents of some towns and villages are paying for both their locally owned open spaces, as well as those owned by the District Council which are not in their town or village.

Lewes District Council collects council tax on behalf

of East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, East Sussex Fire Authority,

Lewes District Council and your local town or parish council.

The average Band D council tax bill for 2013/2014 is £1,645.22 made up as follows: East Sussex County Council £1,158.30; Lewes District Council £192.48*; Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner £138.42; East Sussex Fire Authority £81.86; Town and Parish (average) £74.16.

It is the Lewes District Council portion of council tax £192.48* that is referred to in this open spaces consultation.

It is this figure that may go up or down following the results of this consultation.

To take part visit www.lewes.gov.uk and complete the online survey.

The closing date is Thursday, October 31 and the results will be considered by Cabinet at its meeting on Monday, November 18.