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Herefordshire Council Notice


Parish Precepts

A regular subject of concern at this time of year is the requirement for Parish Councils to decide their precept for the following year. To most people the word precept doesn’t mean a great deal, apart from a large figure following a £ sign on their council tax bill.

The Universal Dictionary states: Pre-cept. An order from a County Council to a Rating Authority for the levying of rates.

With regard to the precepts in Herefordshire, all Parish Councils are required to set an annual charge depending on their estimated bills for the following year. This will usually include a small amount to cover any unforeseen costs, such as a Parish Council by-election, or damage caused by some extreme weather conditions.
The Parish precept will be set to cover the costs of their many and various financial responsibilities, not covered by allowances from the County Council, such as insurance, their meeting room hire, the Parish web site, the Lengthsman scheme, the Parish newsletter and financial grants to various local groups etc.

This can add up to quite a large sum, which is then collected by the Rating Authority (Herefordshire Council) from all the residents of the Parish who pay council tax, and added to your council tax bill.

In my case for example, the Parish Council set the precept for this year at £124.40, but it must be remembered of course, that on top of this figure we must add the new Adult Social Care precept and the regular precepts towards the West Mercia Police and the Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority. When all these costs are added together, the extra charge to me this year amounted to some £588 – all on top of an already high Council Tax Bill! Fortunately, these charges are spread over a 10 month period.

To ensure that your Parish Precepts are kept as low as possible, residents should try to attend their Parish Council meetings, especially at this time of year when next year’s precepts are being debated and decided, and quiz your Councillors on their costing plans. This is your money they’re spending, so it’s vital that it’s used wisely, with the costs distributed fairly.

Finally, just a gentle reminder that as of today, there’s only 94 shopping days before Christmas!

Cllr Bruce Baker
Hampton Ward

Date: 07/09/2017

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