Mayor slams tax grant decision

Mayor Susan Sutton
Mayor Susan Sutton

A town’s mayor has slammed Central Beds Council (CBC) for its decision not to pass on the Council Tax Support Grant.

Sandy mayor Susan Sutton follows other elected representatives who have also criticised the decision.

Her comments came after the policy, finance and resources committee recommended to the full town council on Monday that the annual precept for 2014/15 be set at £455,704.

The 2013/14 precept is £398,491 but the council has also received £42,378 from the grant Next year it and all the other local councils will receive nothing, even though the government expects its grant to be passed down. CBC says it cannot afford to do so.

Mrs Sutton said that although CBC urged Sandy Town Council to continue paying £25,000 for CCTV coverage on Monday, the town council would not be considering pulling out if CBC’s grant had been passed on.

She said: “We understand CBC is keen to keep its council tax as low as possible just as we want to keep our precept as low as possible. But by not passing on any of this funding CBC leaves us no choice but to make an increase.

“We would again urge CBC to reconsider its decision and look at where the greatest needs are to make allowances for those parishes with high benefit claimants and prudently low reserves.

“Sandy Town Council is good value for money, our members are all unpaid volunteers and we work hard with limited resources to provide the local services which people tell us they want.”

The precept will be discussed again at Sandy Town Council’s meeting on Monday (January 13) at 7.30pm.