title="Over Parish Council in Cambridgeshire">

News  »  Parish Precept 2016-17

   Parish Precept 2016-17    17 March, 2016

The Parish precept is increasing significantly this year, rising from £36,000 to £50,000 – the first significant jump for many years.

Over has one of the lowest precepts in South Cambridgeshire, far lower than any village of comparable size. The parish tax for a Band D property in 2015 was £32.51 and made up just over 2% of the total Council Tax demand; this was half the average parish tax throughout the district. In general, the larger the parish the higher the precept, but Over is the 19th largest parish while having the 88th highest precept. This year’s increase means that Over is now 81st out of 96 precepting parishes.

These facts alone do not create a valid argument for raising the precept, but it goes without saying that a parish that is chronically underfunded will struggle to provide the level and quality of services that its residents might reasonably expect.

The reason the precept has been raised this year is to create a Community Centre Projects Fund of £20,000, made up of £6,000 from our general reserves and £14,000 from the increased precept. The Over Community Association has a full repairing lease on the Centre, but this does not cover general ‘wear and tear’ as facilities become ‘tired’. The Projects Fund is designed to allow refurbishment of agreed capital items, with perhaps the toilets being high on the list of priorities.

Community Halls in some local villages have become insolvent in recent years, and their management committees have just ‘walked away’, handing the building back to the Parish Council. It has then required a large investment to bring the buildings back up to a standard where some other group may be willing to take over its management.

Hopefully this programme of refurbishment will enable the Centre to attract the business that it needs to cover its costs, so it can continue to be an attractive and valuable community facility.

The Parish Tax increase for 2016-17 works out at just over £1 per month for a Band D household.

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