2014/15 Parish Rates – Tuesday 28th January 2014

At the meeting of the Commissioners held on Thursday 23rd March 2014, the Chairman Mr Andrew Jessopp announced that the Commissioners’ rate for 2014/15 would be set at 219p in the pound, a reduction of 6p from the previous year.

Very careful consideration was given to the potential costs of the Authority’s development plans for the forthcoming year, details of which will be released in their Business Plan in April, as well as the increased waste disposal charges predominantly due to the staged removal of the central government subsidy of the gate fees at the Energy from Waste plant.

As a way to counter balance these increased charges the Commissioners remain heavily committed to the principle of recycling and in particular the kerbside collection service. They ask all residents to continue their participation in this scheme and to remain committed to recycling as it helps to offset other rising waste disposal costs.

Whilst making their decision on the rates the Commissioners were very conscious of the impact on its residents of the proposed increase in the all island water rate and the introduction of a new flat rate sewage rate, which now transpires to be £50 per household.

The Commissioners have, over recent years, adopted a policy of building sufficient reserves to allow them to react to unforeseen circumstances that require a large capital commitment, and cover any other liabilities including legal actions.

The improving chances of seeing an end to a longstanding potential liability was a contributory factor in the Board’s decision to reduce the rate, and they hope to release further details of this over the next few weeks.

The Commissioners will continue to examine ways of keeping the rates to the lowest possible level, whilst still maintaining a good value for money service, by entering into working relationships with other Authorities in order to try and achieve savings through economies of scale.

In concluding his speech Mr Jessopp stated this reduction may be a short term issue because, like other Local Authorities, the Board is unsure of the implications of the changes to Central Government in the light of the Scope of Government report and what impact it will have on the Parish; but at least the reduction will help cushion any other burden passed over to ratepayers in these continuing difficult economic times.

J C Whiteway MBA