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Cuddington and Sandiway community concern over special expenses
COMMUNITIES are still fuming that they have been given an extra charge on top of their Council Tax.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) introduced a special expenses fee on this year’s bill for some residents in a bid to smooth out inequalities.
it imposed the charge in areas where it pays for PCSOs, parks and Christmas lights, which are already paid for by parish councils in some areas.
But Cuddington and Sandiway Parish Council is still objecting to the addition for its residents.
Speaking at the latest meeting Clr Val Godfrey explained she was concerned about the charge for looking after the village’s multi-use games area (MUGA) as the parish council and local authority, formerly Vale Royal Borough Council, had a longstanding agreement as to its management.
She said paying for a PCSO was also an issue as parish councillors agreed in the past not to fund an officer when they were given the option.
“The point is one of principle and communication with the local authority and local residents,” she said.
“I can accept that Cheshire West needed to sort out differences for continuity reasons but it’s a point of principle that it’s a request – it’s not something for the council to presume residents will pay as part of their Council Tax by the back door.
“Particularly when it’s something that they have refused to pay for in the past.”
Cuddington and Sandiway residents in an average Band D property have seen a £4.33 reduction overall on their bill because of the way the new tax base has been calculated.
But without the £3.90 special expenses charge this would have been a £8.26 decrease.
CWAC Clr John Grimshaw said: “I see the bottom line figure being in your favour.
“I can see the principle being objected to but we have tried to simplify costs across the whole area – it’s an absolute minefield because there’s different arrangements everywhere.
“This is the simplest way of doing things.”