Midhurst set for four per cent tax rise

MIDHURST town councillors have finally been able to set their budget this week after the announcement that parish precepts will not be capped next year.

They were forced to hold a special meeting after uncertainties over the new council tax support scheme and the prospect of capping on parish precept with a greater increase than two per cent.

Shortly before Christmas Chichester District Council announced it could fund the losses which parish councils might face from the new council tax scheme.

And on Monday town clerk Joan Hursthouse told town councillors the Sussex Association of Local Councils had informed her there would be no referendums, this year, for parish councils raising their precept by more than two per cent.

It meant town councillors, who had prepared two draft budgets before Christmas to cater for every option, were able to agree a precept totalling £105,336.60.

This means a rise of 4.58 per cent for the average Band D tax payers in Midhurst who will pay £45.14 next year compared with £43.16 for the current year.

The budget includes allocations for projects including £8,000 for play area improvements a total of £5,000 for schemes suggested through the ‘future role’ group and £1,640 for bunting to be put up across the town through the summer.