Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish Council’s decision to increase the Parish Tax by 22% will come as a real shock to rate payers in Ockbrook and Borrowash

Chair of the Tory Administration, Cllr Mike Wallis revealed the plan at the January Finance Meeting of the Parish Council.

Parish residents pay a ‘Parish Tax’ in addition to Council Tax; the Borough grants extra finance to parishes for undertaking work on its behalf. Erewash Borough Council has now reduced this sum in line with overall budget cuts.

From April 2012, Ockbrook and Borrowash residents will pay £65,777 instead of £51,268; a hike of £14,515 or 22%.

When announcing the increase, Chair, Cllr Wallis (also an Erewash Borough Councillor) proposed future increases to ‘boost reserves’, stating that no barriers to further increases impeded Parish Councils because they were not liable to ‘capping’.

Helen Clark, Chair of Erewash Labour Local Government Committee and a resident of Borrowash said:

This increase was not declared when Mike Wallis and his Tory colleagues stood for election in May 2011 and no wonder!

They would have got a bloody nose!

Even now, residents living here pay five times more Parish Tax than their Breaston neighbours; three and a half times more than people in Draycott and their total Parish Tax is £27,270 greater than the equivalent sum paid by people living in the larger parish of Sandiacre!

Cllr Wallis and his colleagues are displaying contempt for the basic principle of democracy. They must now open the books and present the people who elected them with a detailed and costed explanation. What ‘reserves’ merit a 22% increase? And what is it in the water at Ockbrook and Borrowash that renders its residents liable to such unfair and discriminatory treatment?

Philip Whitt; Vice Chair of Ockbrook and Borrowash Labour Party said:

Local people will want to know why they must pay such a huge tax increase compared to residents of Breaston, Sandiacare and Draycott. We in Ockbrook and Borrowash appear to be shouldering the financial burden for an incompetent and inefficient council. I believe this increase to be a direct result of pure bad management of Parish affairs.

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