Band D council taxpayers face £1,400 bill

PUBLISHED: 14:58 04 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

HOUSEHOLDS in the St Albans district are facing council tax rises of around four per cent in April. People living in the average Band D property will face an annual council tax bill of £1,399 in 2008/9 – with some variations in areas affected by parish co

HOUSEHOLDS in the St Albans district are facing council tax rises of around four per cent in April.

People living in the average Band D property will face an annual council tax bill of £1,399 in 2008/9 - with some variations in areas affected by parish council precepts such as Harpenden and the villages.

This bulk of the money raised by council tax goes to Herts County Council which has raised its share of the bill by 4.45 per cent. The district council has increased its precept by 3.5 per cent and the cost of policing has risen by just under five per cent.

St Albans District Council agreed to its increase at a meeting last week at which Lib Dem council leader Robert Donald said the 3.5 per cent rise was below the Retail Price Index (RPI) of 4.1 per cent.

He pointed out that the annual Government grant, which contributes 80 per cent to a council's revenue, had increased by just one per cent.

Tory councillor Julian Daly criticised the fact that savings had been made by reducing funding to leisure facilities, street cleaning and provision for a cinema in 2008/9. And Labour councillor Roma Mills said she did not support the budget because the rise was above the 3.1 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation.

* Campaign group the Taxpayers Alliance blames the rising bill to fund public sector workers' pensions for part of the increase in UK council tax settlements.

Herts council taxpayers forked out £41 each in 2006/7 to pay the £42,897,000 bill for county council workers' pensions which has grown 11.4 per cent since the previous year.

Residents of St Albans each paid a further £12 in 2006/7 for the district council £2,250,000 pensions bill which grew 2.1 per cent over the previous year.

The Local Government Pension Scheme is linked to final salary and allows employees to retire aged 60 on full index-linked benefits.

Alliance chairman Andrew Allum said: "It is unacceptable that ordinary families and pensioners who struggle to pay inflated council tax bills see so much of their money spent on gold-plated council pensions that have all but disappeared in the wider economy."

* Council-house tenants are facing an average rent increase of just under seven per cent from the beginning of April.

Forty-four per cent of the district's council tenants who do not qualify for housing benefits will see their rents go up from between 2.82 and 9.53 per cent.

Speaking at the council meeting, Cllr Donald said council tenants had been targeted by the Government and would have had to pay a 10 per cent rent rise had council officers not found efficiencies to reduce it to 6.91 percent.

He added: "The fact that 47 per cent of their rent is going straight to the Government and 75 per cent of the money raised through the sale of council properties is surely a direct attack on council tenants.

More news stories

59 minutes ago

Traffic is queueing on the M1 following a crash between a car and motorcyclist in the St Albans area.

16:26

A St Albans baker’s cake has been taste-tested on national television by famous actors.

A group of families have taken part in this year’s Children in Need appeal to help highlight the work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

14:14

Being ill sucks. No matter what’s got you down – the flu, a broken bone, diabetes, cancer – it’s a horrible place to be. Your body is weaker and less capable. The drugs you take mess with your mind and your moods and sometimes can make you feel even worse than when you started. Mental ill-health is no different. The brain is an organ, and like any organ, it doesn’t always function to the medical standard of “normal”. Mine certainly doesn’t.

CountryPhile

Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards