LETTER: Reductions in council funding

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Just to clarify, the letter which appeared on page 36 of the County Times last week, was not in fact my letter, but one from the Billingshurst Parish Clerk, which appeared in the CT on 07-03-13.

Below is my response to that letter.

You may recall that Government reduced the CTB grant from 100 per cent to 90 per cent last year, without consultation.

Horsham District Council advised parish councils of the consequences, as soon as they were in a position to do so, ie on 18th December.

One parish clerk subsequently wrote to the WSCT early in March, complaining that this will result in PCs having to increase the parish element of council tax, by up to 1.5 per cent.

As the responsible Cabinet Member at the time, I investigated the complaint with officers at HDC, to find that the increase equated to 6p per year for a Band D property. That is the information that the PC would have obtained by referring the matter to officers.

Hopefully this will correct any misunderstanding.

As readers may have seen, HDC has had to accommodate Government funding reductions of over 30 per cent per annum in recent years.

Whilst the national debt continues to rise, it is difficult to see how any guarantees can be given to anyone, on what might happen at the end of this year.

ROGER ARTHUR

(UKIP) Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury ward, North Street, Horsham