Precept set to decrease for coastal parish council
A parish council on the north Northumberland coast which lets its residents have a major say in its running will reduce its precept in 2018-19.
At a parish meeting on Tuesday, the residents of Craster opted to reduce the precept – the town or parish-council element of the council-tax bill – for the coming year.
The parish council put two options to the public meeting; one to have a neutral budget and set the precept to cover the expected running costs and the other to reduce the amount collected and run down the reserves.
This is the third year the parish council has consulted the residents and sought their opinion on the amount of the precept.
In a parish where many of the houses are holiday lets and pay nothing to the running of the parish, the council considers it appropriate to involve residents in all significant decisions and holds three parish meeting each year.
The chairman, Coun Bryn Owen, said that having a tight budget is good for a council.
The precept is now at half the level it was three years ago, mainly because the parish is no longer having to contribute to the running costs of Spitalford Cemetery.
Embleton Joint Cemetery Committee has made significant savings and now operates with no subsidies from the parishes in the area.