Littlehampton residents faced with council tax hike

Budget changes will not affect services like the ferry
Budget changes will not affect services like the ferry

HOUSEHOLDERS in Littlehampton will have to pay three per cent more for Littlehampton Town Council services for 2014/15.

The increase was unanimously agreed by the town council and was in response to Arun District Council’s decision to axe more than £147,000 from the town council’s budget by 2016/17, with half of this grant being cut in 2015/16.

The town council said it was ‘reluctant’ to raise taxes but stressed that it would equate to an increase of only 6p per week – £3.21 a year – for a band D taxpayer.

Chairman of the policy and finance committee, town councillor Carol Emberson, told the council that, without the intervention of Arun, there would have been ‘no change’ to the tax rate.

“However, Arun’s proposal, from 2015, to take from parishes funds that the Government have specifically identified for them, means that a three per cent increase is recommended.”

Arun’s decision to axe support to town and parish councils was made at a cabinet meeting in September last year.

The cuts to Littlehampton equate to about 15 percent of the town council’s precept.

However, the town council said the 2014/15 budget remained relatively unchanged, with funding to enable the number 12 bus and ferry service being allocated for another year.

Cllr Emberson added the council would need to consider over the coming year whether to withdraw from some Arun services it contributed to or whether to increase council tax by a similar sum over the next two years