Ilkley Parish Council puts levy of £19 on average household

Ilkley Parish Council is to charge the community a 1.8 per cent “modest increase” as part of this year’s proposed budget.

The parish council will levy a precept of £133,700 for its services in the coming financial year, 2013-2014, it was agreed at a full council meeting at the Town Hal on Monday.

It means a typical Band D household will be charged £19.60 by the parish council, on top of council tax to Bradford Council in 2013-2014.

Parish Council chairman Heathcliffe Bowen described the increase as being “in line with inflation” and as a “modest increase.”

Councillor Mike Ridgeway said: “I think Ilkley Parish Council give a good value precept, compared with other parish councils.”

One of the biggest hikes in precept was seen last year in the financial term 2012-2013 with a 20 per cent rise, which was upped to fund Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Its precept for the financial year 2012-2013 was £131,300 which had risen from £109,943 in 2011-2012.

The possible budget for this year, 2013-2014, is planned at £153,885.

Some of the biggest increases in this year’sbudget are the funds allocated to the parish council’s publicity and website maintenance, which has gone from zero last year to £5,000 this year. This has been increased in a move to improve communications. Also the council has allocated more funding towards the maintenance of Darwin Gardens, formerly known as West View Park, in Wells Road, from £2,000 last year to £5,200 this year.

Councillors said that as they are trustees of the gardens they want to put money into raising it to a higher standard and ensure that it is kept well maintained.

The council is also backing a move in restoring the memorial garden steps in a bid to keep them in good condition.

The vote on the budget was taken in public, and was agreed by the councillors present who included Mike Ridgeway, Paul Kitching, Stephen Butler and was headed by chairman Coun Bowen and vice-chairman of the council Mike Gibbons.

Councillors unable to attend had all seen a copy of the budget beforehand and had not raised any concerns.

The council’s pot of reserves is still being calculated. This is the sum of money used to fund items including election provision and support of the police youth unit.

Meanwhile a 14 per cent hike in Otley’s local tax is being planned to help deliver “a more active town council.”

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