Stotfold residents hit with council tax rise

Residents will be hit with a 26 per cent rise in council tax

Residents will be hit with a 26 per cent rise in council tax - Credit: Archant

RESIDENTS of a town will be hit with a 35% per cent rise in their council tax this year.

Stotfold Town Council has set its precept for 2013/2014 which will see a band D local tax rate of £107.89, compared to £79.98 for 2012/13.

Stotfold mayor Brain Collier put the rate increase down to the development of the new Fairfield Park Council.

He said: “As Fairfield Park will be leaving Stotfold we are not able to collect council tax from them. This automatically means that the Stotfold residents’ bill goes up. It is purely because we have lost residents.”

Out of the 79 towns and parishes in Bedfordshire, Stotfold will now have one of the highest figures.

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But Mr Collier said this was nothing new.

“It is has always been around about eighth to tenth highest in Central Bedfordshire,” he added.

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“Administration costs make up the majority of our spending, but this is on salaries and also on contractors who look after communal grounds and carry out maintenance work.

“We have two full-time staff and two part-time staff then several caretakers.”

Geoffrey Smith, founder member of the Fairfield Action Group, said: “We hugely regret the impact on Stotfold rates but everyone must recognise that if the mayor of Stotfold had listened to us we would never have needed to separate from Stotfold.

“The mayor and his council were intractable on all issues and the inhabitants of Stotfold must now pay the price for this.

“I also suspect that Stotfold Town Council underestimated the depth of feeling here on Fairfield Park and also the ability of the new community to galvanise itself into action.”

The precept for Fairfield Parish Council in an average band D property for the new tax year will be £77.97.

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