Over the past few months Datchworth Parish Council (DPC) have been working hard on its budget and precept* for 2021/22.
DPC are mindful that this year, of all years, the council tax increase to its parishioners should be as low as possible. It has been a difficult decision but the conclusion has been to increase the precept by 14.75%. Although this percentage may look a little daunting, in monetary terms, the effect to the resident’s council tax payment to the Parish Council is as follows:
In the current year, a band D council taxpayer pays £38.72 per year. A 14.75% increase would rise to £43.82, which is an increase of £5.10 per year (less than 43 pence per month).
There are three primary reasons that have necessitated the precept increase:-
- Nutcroft play area: You may remember that DPC consulted with residents with regards to leasing the Nutcroft play area land from East Herts District Council (EHDC), and that taking on the responsibility for the ground maintenance in the area would involve an increase to the precept. Prior to 2021/22, the council would receive circa £1,850 reimbursement for the grass cutting that it carries out on behalf of EHDC. Now that DPC has taken on the lease for the play area, it will now be liable for ground maintenance costs in the area, resulting in a reduction of the reimbursement from EHDC. We await confirmation from EHDC as to what the new payment will be but have estimated it will be circa £500. This will be a loss of income of approximately £1,350
which we would need to claw back in next year’s precept. This equates to an increase to the
precept of 4.75%.
- Hedges: In the past the annual hedge cutting (bordering the Turkey Farm and in front of Nutcroft play area) was carried out free of charge to the council. However, this is no longer the case and we now need to allow for this additional cost. Quotes received to date indicate a cost of around £600. This will necessitate an increase to the precept of 2.10%.
- Tree survey: DPC commissioned a survey of all of its trees in August 2020 and has approximately 450 trees to maintain. The survey found that there are over 180 trees that need
‘essential works’ by December 2021, with over 20 trees requiring works within the next two years. We have £3k left in the current year’s budget plus £5.5k allocated from 2021/22 precept
and we have £4.9k emergency funds in the General Reserves. However, we await quotes for the outstanding work and until these have been received, we cannot be sure that enough funds are available. It is possible that it may be necessary for DPC to revisit its precept increase in the coming month but of course we will inform you if this is the case.
DPC’s estimated budget spreadsheet is available to see on our website by following this link:-
Explanations of allocated funds can be found in the “notes” column.
If you have any comments or queries regarding the budget please do not hesitate to contact us via email:- or
* Precept – request of annual funds to the local authority (East Herts District Council) to be raised via the resident’s council tax
Published: February 2021