THE Chair of West Hallam Parish Council has defended a 37.8 per cent increase in parish council precept.
Reader, Graham Shelton contacted Cllr Hart and the Advertiser after discovering the increase but Cllr Hart said residents were aware the change was coming.
In an email to Mr Shelton, she said: “It looks a large increase when you see 37.8per cent but if you look at the actual amount is works out to for example on a band E property, an increase for the year of £7.57 – in other words less than 15p a week.”
She explained that letters were sent out to residents in the weeks before the budget was set but Mr Shelton claimed he had not received one.
Cllr Hart added: “We explained to people that there were increased pressures on our budgets, nothing extra from the borough council and some of our expenses going up.”
In the latest West Hallam Parish Council newsletter the rise was explained to residents and the results of a consultation were also revealed.
It said: “The vast majority of respondents would be in favour of a modest increase in the parish council’s precept in order to ensure that existing services could be maintained and to help fund improvements.”