Residents face hike in parish council precept charges

Taxpayers in villages across Dacorum are seeing an increase in parish council precepts that are raised from their annual council tax.

Eleven out of the 16 parish councils in the area are increasing the amount they collect, with one nearly doubling the amount requested.

Aldbury Parish Council is the precept that is rising the highest, with an average band D property paying £14.24 more in the coming financial year.

Last year’s figure of £18.76 is increasing to £33, a hike of 75 per cent.

The next highest increase was from Chipperfield, which is seeing the 2016/17 figure of £34.90 rise to £48.33, going up by 38.5 per cent.

Flamstead was the other big mover, with an increase of 21.8 per cent up to £61.80 per year for residents.

While district councils, such as Dacorum Borough Council, would have to call a referendum if they raise council tax by more than two per cent – or £5 – parish councils can raise precepts by however much they want.

The money is used to spend on activities, events or services within that parish.

Lucy Bancroft is the clerk of Aldbury Parish Council, which recorded the highest increase this year.

She said: “The amount had not been increased in many, many years.

“This year the council wanted to run a balanced budget, but also keep reserves for one off payments.”

Three parish councils – Flaunden, Little Gaddesden and Nash Mills – froze their precepts for the next year.

Two – Northchurch and Tring Rural – reduced their precepts by more than £3.