New Parish Councils in North-Central, West and South-Central Swindon will be having to pay a combined cost of £500K in extra bureaucracy as a result of Tory-run Swindon Council imposing new parishes on these areas. This spending will be money that won’t fund local services, but instead will be levied to pay for the new bureaucracy in the
Each parish will spend a minimum of £160K each on new bureaucracy. This spending will be money that won’t fund local services, but instead will be levied from residents if it weren’t for the fact that the current Conservative administration on Swindon Council forced through the creation of new parish councils.
This £500K will be spent on the costs of staff and parish council offices, aswell as the cost of parish elections and allowances to new parish councillors, all of which wouldn’t be needed without new parish councils being set up.
The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Jim Grant, said that this is proof that the Conservative-run Swindon Council’s new parishes agenda will force people to pay more and they’ll be getting less. Furthermore he has dubbed this £500K the “Tory Parish Tax”- new spending needed to be levied from residents which they otherwise wouldn’t need to fund if it weren’t for the creation of Tory Parish Councils.
Councillor Jim Grant said:
“This £500K is money being taken out of people’s pockets to directly to fund a Conservative pet project. This shows that Conservative Councillors are forcing people to pay more in their council-tax and get less. Residents will gain no benefit for paying this money in terms of improved services, it is simply a cost that only needs to be levied to support the running of parish councils.
I think it’s fair describe this element of any future Parish Precept as the ‘Tory Parish Tax’ as it is only being levied as a result of Conservative Councillors ploughing ahead with their new pet project- creating parish councils.
When they hear this news, I think residents in West Swindon, North-Central Swindon and South-Central Swindon who are going to have to pay for this Tory Parish Tax, are rightly going to ask Swindon Council’s Tory administration, why they have forced them to pay for something completely irrelevant to their lives.
The Conservative-run Council could have taken a different approach to funding local services. Instead of forcing the setting up of new parish councils and creating this expensive new bureaucracy that people will have to pay for, they could simply increase the Council’s element of the council-tax by more than the 6% they are already charging. Increasing people’s council-taxes that way would have saved residents in West, North-Central and South-Central Swindon a combined sum of £500K, and focussed the raising of council-tax on where people expect it to go, paying for local services residents want.”