Statement on behalf Othery Parish Council.

Precept (council tax) for 2024/25.

At the Othery Parish Council meeting held on 22 January 2024 councillors discussed and set the level of payment (precept) received from Council Tax to enable us to run the local services entrusted to us on your behalf. It cannot have escaped attention that Somerset Council have been stating for some months that there will be a probable £100m pound shortfall in funding for services for the next fiscal year. To enable SC to balance their budget the proposal remains to devolve a number of services to parish and town council level. To finance the running of these extra services a number of town and parish councils have raised their resident’s council tax contribution by an above inflation rate.

To quote a couple of examples, Bridgwater 164% increase, North Petherton 95% increase.

Due to diligent budgeting over the past few years, and an already financial maintenance of certain services Othery is in an excellent position to ‘ride the storm’ without a substantial rise in the local precept. We are also mindful of the ever-increasing financial pressures placed up on household finances. To this end we have kept the precept increase for 2024/25 to 4.76%. which is only very slightly above the 12 months to December 2023 rate of 4.2%.

What does this equate to!

4.76% increase would see Band D home Precept rise from £39.62 (2023/24) to £41.77 (2024/25) equating to an increase of £2.15.

These are challenging times for protection of services; however, we believe the minimal increase in your precept will enable us to maintain standards within Othery during the next fiscal year. We may well ask residents to engage with us on some minor community projects, such as a litter pick, or a little vegetation cutting but if that keeps Othery the place to live in we all enjoy we believe this would be a small sacrficeed.

Cllr. Dr Andrew Tizzard PhD MCIfA (Chair Othery Parish Council)