Swindon Council Tax rise the biggest in the country

This week Tory-run Swindon Borough Council will be sending out Council Tax bills to residents. These bills will include the biggest Council Tax rise in the country, as the Conservative administration have found an administrative loophole to add additional cost ahead of the maximum allowed 2% tax rise and the extra 3% levy for Adult Social Care.

This is before the higher Parish precepts are added, as a result of the Administration taking the decision to create parish councils for the areas of the town that weren’t already parished and hiving off services to them that used to be covered by the Council Tax.

Residents in the areas that weren’t parished used to pay a sum known as the “Swindon Special Expenses” rate to pay for services that the Borough provided that were provided by Parish Councils where they existed in the town. The Conservative administration hit on the wheeze of spreading this cost around the borough to all residents rather than just cancelling it as they should have done as all residents would be paying a Parish precept.   

This means that some residents will be paying a massive 7.2% rise in their Council Tax plus their increased parish precept just to receive the same services that they were receiving last year. Residents in the newly parished areas will pay the 2% council tax rise and the 3% adult social care levy plus their new Parish precept.

The Precepts range in cost across the town with West Swindon residents paying £93.11 (on a Band D property) and residents of the new Swindon North Central Parish paying £113 (on a Band D property). Residents in the new Swindon South Central will pay £115.

Your Labour Councillors voted against the imposition of the Parish Councils, arguing that they were not a value for money solution to our problems, and added huge administrative costs for no benefit. We also voted against the Council Tax rise, as we felt that the loophole the Tories exploited meant that the charges were unfair and exceeded the maximum rate allowed.