As explained in our February Newsletter, this week the Council Tax bills have started coming through you letter box and you will notice a change in your direct debit to Cornwall Council for the new financial year.
There is understandably much interest over this matter, so we thought it would help to reiterate where your money goes and how much actually comes to the Town Council. The average property in Callington (Band D) will be paying £2,139.39 to Cornwall Council for 2021/2022.
The £2,139.39 is collected by Cornwall Council and of that £235.57 will be coming to Callington Town Council (so 11% of your bill will actually come to Callington Town Council).
The breakdown of your bill is shown below:
|Average Council Tax Bill for a Band D 2021/22 in Callington
|Proportion of the overall bill||Increase from the various year|
|Cornwall Council (inc. Fire & Social Care)||£1,667.26||78%||£79.24|
|Devon & Cornwall Police||£236.56||11%||£14.92|
|Callington Town Council||£235.57||11%||£23.62|
When you look at your bills for the coming year, you will notice the percentage increase for each element but let’s quantify this in monetary terms to get a clearer picture:
|Average Council Tax Bill for a Band D 2021/22
|Council Tax 2020/2021||Council Tax 2021/2022||Increase on Each Element||Increase from the various year||Overall Increase|
|Cornwall Council (inc. Fire & Social Care)||£1,588.02||£1,667.26||4.99%||£79.24||3.9%|
|Devon & Cornwall Police||£221.64||£236.56||6.7%||£14.92||0.7%|
|Callington Town Council||£211.95||£235.57||11.2%||£23.62||1.2%|
Many people have expressed a concern that their Council Tax bill will increase by 11.2% but that is only for the Callington Town Council element NOT the overall bill. And whilst we have increased our share of the bill this equates to £23.62 of the overall £117.78 increase for the year. The Town Council actually receive the lowest share of the Council Tax bill (£235.57 of the £2,139.39).
Using percentages can often be confusing because a rise of 1% from Cornwall Council element on your bill would give £15.88 whereas a 1% rise from the Town Council element would only give £2.12 on the average Band D property in Callington. The Town Council has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 11.2% but given that it is the smallest element, this actually equates to 1.2% of the overall 5.8% rise.
What has the increase paid for?
Over the last few months Town Councillors have been making difficult decisions about how to balance the budgets next year without losing any of our services, which has been compounded with the long term impact of the COVID Pandemic being taken into consideration. The Town Council is extremely keen to retain services wherever possible and lobby Cornwall Council to do the same.
The budget was agreed and next year the Band D part of your Council Tax bill that comes to Callington Town Council will increase from £211.95 per year to £235.57, an increase of £23.62 for the year (less than £2 per month)
And what does that extra £2 cover you will ask….
1. We have had to reset the income projections for the Town Hall bookings due to COVID-19. Arguably, we could have just simply increased the charges to hirers to cover our shortfall in income but, as we understand what an important asset this hall is to our community**, we need to keep the fees at a level that allow our community groups, multi-agencies and event planners to still find us an affordable option once they can return to the ‘new- normal’. To simply increase the charges would be short-sighted and could result in lost services and events in our community.
**(We pride ourselves on being a very useable facility that supports a cross section of our community, ranging from classes for our primary aged children through to lunches for our more mature residents. Keep fit classes are held every week day and most evenings we have a community group holding a meeting, without mentioning bookings such as the flu clinics and diabetic eye screening with the NHS.)
2. We have also had to reset the income projections for the Pannier Market, based on the same principle as point 1, by keeping our rates to an affordable level for existing and new tenants.
3. As an employer, we need to adhere to any rises in pay scales agreed by the Government, likewise any changes in National Insurance and Pension Contributions. These rates are not determined by the Town Council but nationally.
4. We also face the same rises in utility bills and business rates for all our premises such as the Town Hall, Public Toilets and FREE carpark. The public toilets and carpark generate no income to help balance the books, nor did they qualify for any rate rebates under the COVID schemes.
5. The importance of our play equipment, particularly whilst children have been home, has been heightened so Councillors have agreed to put a further £10,000 in the budget for play equipment. This will allow us to build up funds to enable us to enhance our play parks in the future. However, you will appreciate that we fall victim to vandalism on an ongoing basis, so all too often we are having to use funds to repair play equipment before we have an opportunity to save up to complete a full refurbishment.
We hope that by explaining why we have increased our share of the Council Tax this year by £23.62 you will appreciate that this is to retain many of our much valued services namely, the Town Hall, the Pannier Market, the general inflationary provisions (on staff costs, utilities and business rates) and play equipment.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the Town Council’s finances please contact the Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 01579 384039
We do appreciate our residents taking an active interest in our finances and anyone wishing to stand on the Town Council can collect a nomination pack for the elections on the 6th May 2021. More information about the elections.