Northwich tax rise will lead to overall reduction

Northwich tax rise will lead to overall reduction

Northwich tax rise will lead to overall reduction

First published in News Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

TAX bills are increasing for Northwich residents although councillors say the bottom line will be less.

Northwich Town Council is putting up its almost £500,000 part of the Council Tax bill but argues it will result in an overall reduction.

Members said they will charge less for some responsibilities, like Christmas lights, Danefields play area and some allotments, which the town council has taken over from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC).

CWAC was charging a special expenses fee for responsibilities like this.

Town mayor Clr Bob Robinson, also the council's finance committee chairman, said: “Northwich will be paying less this year than last year because there will be no levy on Christmas lights or Danefields play area.

“Residents had to pay an extra one-off each year and that outweighs the amout we propose to put up the precept.”

Clr Brian Jamieson said: “We've absorbed the costs of the Christmas lights, the play area and some allotments and that's required us to increase the Council Tax by £1.47 a year for a Band D property.

“Special expenses will be reduced by £5.40 so rate payers in Northwich will be £4 to £5 better off in this year's Council Tax than they would have been if we hadn't done what we have done.

“We are doing it at less cost because we're probably more efficient than CWAC.”

Northwich Town Council agreed to charge a precept of £485,009, which covers £10,000 it gives out in grants, a number of town centre events, looking after parks and cemetaries and helping to get the Northwich Neighbourhood Plan off the ground.

But Clr Derek Bowden did not agree with the rise.

“I've looked at the budget and I fully understand the reasons for an increase in the precept,” he said.

“I also understand that residents will, overall, be paying less money than in previous years.

“But in view of the problems so many households are facing in the light of cuts in various aspects of their income, I wonder if it's possible financially for the council to consider absorbing that money into its accounts and not raising the precept this year?”

Fellow members argued that the rise was justified and the council voted to approve the precept.

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:55pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

as most of them don't live in Northwich and weren't elected they have a bit of a brass neck to levy a tax at all - good at spending other people's money!
as most of them don't live in Northwich and weren't elected they have a bit of a brass neck to levy a tax at all - good at spending other people's money! Northwich Lover
  • Score: 3

11:50pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

How much would we save if the £500,000 that the Town council spends was spent by CW&C and the Town Council abolished.? 500k split across all tax payers in CW&C would be an awful lot less. The report doesn't say how much is being spent/wasted on the neighbourhood plan which nobody will take any notice do, improvements to the council's offices and grants to the CAB which so many people rely on at the moment.
How much would we save if the £500,000 that the Town council spends was spent by CW&C and the Town Council abolished.? 500k split across all tax payers in CW&C would be an awful lot less. The report doesn't say how much is being spent/wasted on the neighbourhood plan which nobody will take any notice do, improvements to the council's offices and grants to the CAB which so many people rely on at the moment. Northwich Lover
  • Score: 1

9:03am Wed 12 Feb 14

jimjamhartford says...

Maybe they can collect our bins each week too? Where was the reduction when they moved to bi-weekly collections and demanded our pensioners carry cumbersome boxes to the edge of their property each week full of bottles and cans?
Maybe they can collect our bins each week too? Where was the reduction when they moved to bi-weekly collections and demanded our pensioners carry cumbersome boxes to the edge of their property each week full of bottles and cans? jimjamhartford
  • Score: 0

11:43am Wed 12 Feb 14

GOFFY says...

It does not matte how they try to dress it up the town council is putting up its council tax by1.99%, according to the town council people who live in Northwich will have a reduction in council tax, but that reduction would come from the CWAC part of the council tax.
Clr Brian Jamieson said: “We've absorbed the costs of the Christmas lights, the play area on Danefield Road" It would seem that this is something of an untruth or a massive mistake by Cllr Jameson because the town council have put £23,000 into the budgety (yes you read it correctly) for the Christmas lights and £1,500 into the budget for the Danefield Road play area. Perhaps he could explain to us the readers and especially to those who live in Northwich how this has come about, and also the amount Northwich tax payers were being charged for special expences?

Goffy
It does not matte how they try to dress it up the town council is putting up its council tax by1.99%, according to the town council people who live in Northwich will have a reduction in council tax, but that reduction would come from the CWAC part of the council tax. Clr Brian Jamieson said: “We've absorbed the costs of the Christmas lights, the play area on Danefield Road" It would seem that this is something of an untruth or a massive mistake by Cllr Jameson because the town council have put £23,000 into the budgety (yes you read it correctly) for the Christmas lights and £1,500 into the budget for the Danefield Road play area. Perhaps he could explain to us the readers and especially to those who live in Northwich how this has come about, and also the amount Northwich tax payers were being charged for special expences? Goffy GOFFY
  • Score: 1

1:01pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

Far from being efficient if the TC was scrapped and its costs picked up by CW&C it would add less than £5 to the CW&C bill but save Northwich residents an awful lot more!
Far from being efficient if the TC was scrapped and its costs picked up by CW&C it would add less than £5 to the CW&C bill but save Northwich residents an awful lot more! Northwich Lover
  • Score: 1

6:34pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GoAndrCoop says...

At the risk of answering rhetorical questions, I’m going to attempt to answer some of the questions raised in the comments here over the next few posts.

If anyone has any further questions or comments, please by all means get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Cllr Andrew Cooper
Northwich Town Council
At the risk of answering rhetorical questions, I’m going to attempt to answer some of the questions raised in the comments here over the next few posts. If anyone has any further questions or comments, please by all means get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer them. Cllr Andrew Cooper Northwich Town Council GoAndrCoop
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GoAndrCoop says...

@ Northwich Lover:
It’s outside the power of the Town Council to abolish itself, so this is not something we could do as part of the precept setting process. You may be right that it would be cheaper if no town and parish councils existed. However, I would argue that by being completely focused on the needs of Northwich we are able to provide services to a higher standard. It also guarantees that money paid in the precept will be spent in Northwich.

With respect to the Neighbourhood Plan, for 2014/15 this is being funded from money we receive from the New Homes Bonus, rather than the Precept. The Neighbourhood Plan is something we are obliged to produce as a Council, and once ratified it will have equal legal weight as the Local Plan produced by CWAC. It cannot be ignored when it comes to assessing planning applications.
@ Northwich Lover: It’s outside the power of the Town Council to abolish itself, so this is not something we could do as part of the precept setting process. You may be right that it would be cheaper if no town and parish councils existed. However, I would argue that by being completely focused on the needs of Northwich we are able to provide services to a higher standard. It also guarantees that money paid in the precept will be spent in Northwich. With respect to the Neighbourhood Plan, for 2014/15 this is being funded from money we receive from the New Homes Bonus, rather than the Precept. The Neighbourhood Plan is something we are obliged to produce as a Council, and once ratified it will have equal legal weight as the Local Plan produced by CWAC. It cannot be ignored when it comes to assessing planning applications. GoAndrCoop
  • Score: 1

6:35pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GoAndrCoop says...

@ jimjamhartford
Bin collections are provided by CWAC, rather than Northwich Town Council. I agree that the move to bi-weekly collections has caused problems. In my ward in the centre of Northwich we have found that, because “excess” rubbish is not collected, the alleys behind houses fill up with uncollected bin bags that then have to be cleared weeks later when the EH team come to clear out the alley. It’s a circular exercise.
@ jimjamhartford Bin collections are provided by CWAC, rather than Northwich Town Council. I agree that the move to bi-weekly collections has caused problems. In my ward in the centre of Northwich we have found that, because “excess” rubbish is not collected, the alleys behind houses fill up with uncollected bin bags that then have to be cleared weeks later when the EH team come to clear out the alley. It’s a circular exercise. GoAndrCoop
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GoAndrCoop says...

@ GOFFY
The numbers you quote are broadly correct, but require some explanation.
The £1,500 for Danefields Play Area is the budgeted figure for staff costs to maintain this park – i.e. paying the Parks Dept staff to cut the grass, maintain the foliage, keep it clean, and so forth. It does not include any money to be spent on improvements to the Play Area, which will likely come from grants and such. Danefields Play Area was planned to be decommissioned by CWAC, which is one of the reasons the Town Council has stepped in so that we can keep it going as a community facility.

The £23,000 for the Christmas Lights is made up of: £20,000 to put them up, take them down and maintain them (this is a surprisingly big job, and includes some equipment hire); £1,500 for other Christmas decorations in and around the town centre; £1,500 for the lights “switch on” event, which was enormously popular this year.

As the article says, taking on these services (as well as a couple of allotments) results in a reduction in £5.40 in the Council Tax paid to CWAC for a Band-D property. When we added in costs of these items to the NTC budget (as well as any other costs and savings incurred over the course of the year) it results in an increase of £1.47. So a Northwich resident living in a Band-D property would be £3.93 better off overall.
@ GOFFY The numbers you quote are broadly correct, but require some explanation. The £1,500 for Danefields Play Area is the budgeted figure for staff costs to maintain this park – i.e. paying the Parks Dept staff to cut the grass, maintain the foliage, keep it clean, and so forth. It does not include any money to be spent on improvements to the Play Area, which will likely come from grants and such. Danefields Play Area was planned to be decommissioned by CWAC, which is one of the reasons the Town Council has stepped in so that we can keep it going as a community facility. The £23,000 for the Christmas Lights is made up of: £20,000 to put them up, take them down and maintain them (this is a surprisingly big job, and includes some equipment hire); £1,500 for other Christmas decorations in and around the town centre; £1,500 for the lights “switch on” event, which was enormously popular this year. As the article says, taking on these services (as well as a couple of allotments) results in a reduction in £5.40 in the Council Tax paid to CWAC for a Band-D property. When we added in costs of these items to the NTC budget (as well as any other costs and savings incurred over the course of the year) it results in an increase of £1.47. So a Northwich resident living in a Band-D property would be £3.93 better off overall. GoAndrCoop
  • Score: -2

7:35pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GOFFY says...

My figures are correct I have seen the budget papers, the point I was making is that Cllr Jameson said the council had absorbed these costs, that is totally incorrect if the costs are set in the budget as new expenditure which they are.
With regard to the precept increase the town council are putting up the precept by £1.47, as I said in my previous comment any saving will come from the CWAC part of the council tax, NOT Northwich town council. Northwich town council can take no credit for the savings, Cllrs Robinson and Jameson should be ashamed of themselves for trying to fool the Northwich tax payers. It is noticeable that Cllr Cooper has not told us how mucb the special expenses fee being charged by CWAC actually was.

Goffy
My figures are correct I have seen the budget papers, the point I was making is that Cllr Jameson said the council had absorbed these costs, that is totally incorrect if the costs are set in the budget as new expenditure which they are. With regard to the precept increase the town council are putting up the precept by £1.47, as I said in my previous comment any saving will come from the CWAC part of the council tax, NOT Northwich town council. Northwich town council can take no credit for the savings, Cllrs Robinson and Jameson should be ashamed of themselves for trying to fool the Northwich tax payers. It is noticeable that Cllr Cooper has not told us how mucb the special expenses fee being charged by CWAC actually was. Goffy GOFFY
  • Score: 4

8:44pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

The town council is not required to produce a neighbourhood plan at all.surely the new homes bonus could have been used for something else more useful. Is it true that less than half the council were there and most of those who were,Andrew Cooper included , do not live in Northwich or have to pay the tax they are levying?
The town council is not required to produce a neighbourhood plan at all.surely the new homes bonus could have been used for something else more useful. Is it true that less than half the council were there and most of those who were,Andrew Cooper included , do not live in Northwich or have to pay the tax they are levying? Northwich Lover
  • Score: 4

8:48pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

Oh and town councils can be abolished. North Hertfordshire agreed to bin one only last year
Oh and town councils can be abolished. North Hertfordshire agreed to bin one only last year Northwich Lover
  • Score: 4

8:58pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GOFFY says...

Cllr Cooper you cannot guarantee that money from the precept will be spent in Northwich have a look where the money is spent from the small grants committee then tell us where that money was spent. I'll bet it wasn't all spent in Northwich Parish.
Cllr Cooper you cannot guarantee that money from the precept will be spent in Northwich have a look where the money is spent from the small grants committee then tell us where that money was spent. I'll bet it wasn't all spent in Northwich Parish. GOFFY
  • Score: 4

12:35am Fri 14 Feb 14

Colin 1953 says...

Northwich Town Council needs to disappear and the minor tinkering it does transferred to Cheshire west council. That would save a lot and you would get rid of some councillors that spend our money on, amongst other things, trips to twin towns.

Maybe they could also let us know how much they have in reserve?
Northwich Town Council needs to disappear and the minor tinkering it does transferred to Cheshire west council. That would save a lot and you would get rid of some councillors that spend our money on, amongst other things, trips to twin towns. Maybe they could also let us know how much they have in reserve? Colin 1953
  • Score: 2

8:56am Fri 14 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

Colin 1953 wrote:
Northwich Town Council needs to disappear and the minor tinkering it does transferred to Cheshire west council. That would save a lot and you would get rid of some councillors that spend our money on, amongst other things, trips to twin towns.

Maybe they could also let us know how much they have in reserve?
agreed - a complete waste of money. Over half not elected and over half not even residents of Northwich. Shows how well regarded it is.
[quote][p][bold]Colin 1953[/bold] wrote: Northwich Town Council needs to disappear and the minor tinkering it does transferred to Cheshire west council. That would save a lot and you would get rid of some councillors that spend our money on, amongst other things, trips to twin towns. Maybe they could also let us know how much they have in reserve?[/p][/quote]agreed - a complete waste of money. Over half not elected and over half not even residents of Northwich. Shows how well regarded it is. Northwich Lover
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree