Council tax to go up in Eastleigh

Council has off-loaded costs on to parishes

Local taxes will go up for people living in Eastleigh.

Charges for a typical band D property in the borough will rise to an average of £193 in an inflation busting hike of 51% .

Although the council’s part of bill has been frozen by the government at £104.81 the addition of parish precepts and special expenses will push up totals by an average £65.

Last week Council Leader Keith House used the front pages of the Echo, Hampshire Chronicle and Eastleigh News Extra to claim average tax bills would be dropping by 77p – by omitting details of parish charges.

All the parishes have had their own budgets devolved to them – but these are exempt from government capping and the parish councils are free to charge whatever they like – resulting in the massive tax increases.

In Hamble the total Council tax payable has almost doubled with a rise 92%.

See how your local taxes will soar in table below:

The only area where there has been no increase this year is non-parished Eastleigh town which had previously voted against having a parish council and therefore had its entire council tax burden frozen this year.

However in a shock move the council leader has announced that Eastleigh would have its own budget devolved to Local Area Committee, becoming a de facto parish council and liable to uncapped rises in the future – even though this is against the wishes of the residents.

Parish councils are dominated by councillors who also sit on the Liberal Democrat controlled Borough Council – Keith House himself sits on two Parish Councils – and that is where they agree to the rises.

In Keith House’s parishes of Hedge Town and Bursledon precepts have risen by 78% and 35% respectively.

One Eastleigh resident aged 54, who did not wish to be named, reacted angrily to the news

“In Eastleigh we also have to a parking tax on our cars. A family with two cars moving to a band D house here would have to pay a total of £277 in taxes but local taxes a band D house in Hiltingbury would only cost £150 – no matter how many cars you have”

Next year town centre residents will also have to pay a precept as a result of having parish status forced on us. We are going to see our local tax burden rocket 45% to £300 due to Keith House’s stealth taxes and the Echo will still have him on the front page telling us how he has pegged council tax to 1% below RPIX.”

Council taxes hits those on low incomes and elderly people on fixed incomes, it is an unfair tax”

In an email to Eastleigh News Labour councillor Brian Norgate said:

“I am shocked how the people of Eastleigh have been betrayed over ELAC becoming a parish.”

“Worse is to come next year with the changes and the EBC tax will go down but the parish town council rates will rise significantly”

Total 2011 council tax payable including Fire,Police & HCC - click to enlarge

Photo: Stephen Slominski

  13 comments for “Council tax to go up in Eastleigh

  1. February 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Well Well, as they say up North, The truth will out..!!

    What I do find strange is the assumption by the ed that Mr House would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, to the people of Eastleigh about ANYTHING..!!

    You can always tell when Mr House is not telling the truth, becuase his lips move.

    What was that famous Lib Dem quote..!!!

  2. Cllr Brian Norgate
    February 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Keith House is opposed to Council tax and prefers the local income tax that is taken out of your wages, the funny thing is Keith House is passing off EBC liabilities to Parish and Town councils, so EBC reduce their liabilities and you pay more through a hidden tax. That’s the only reduction you can see in your Council tax bills but rising Parish/town council bills.

    EBC charge you pro rata average Band D plus special expenses (over 12 hidden charges) that make council tax.

    There are many examples of this such as the allotments; EBC using the special expenses claimed £5.15p for every property in the Eastleigh Constituency totalling £178k, after devolving the allotments to the Parish/Town Councils EBC are still claiming £110k for the allotments.

    The Labour party exposed the abuse of the Exempt business part of the EBC constitution that EBC used to get this through without public scrutiny, it’s not the only item the exempt business has been used for wrongly, or as Keith House said at full Council “Councillor Norgate was right this was a mistake”, I don’t think so, if that was the case then so were all the other errors in the exempt business.

    Once yes, twice maybe but coincidences happen year on year at EBC.

    The question is when a budget is not a budget; well this year clearly is the case.

    It’s a shame the Echo can’t work out the figures and give a more rational explanation of what’s going on at EBC.

    Congratulations to the Eastleigh News for getting the story right.

    Council tax overall went up and it will for the next two years under Keith Houses plans, shame he won’t tell us the truth but he is the master of spin, remember “no first parking permits”, that’s EBC’s level of trust in the people of Eastleigh to tell them what’s going on in their own town.

  3. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    “after devolving the allotments to the Parish/Town Councils EBC are still claiming £110k for the allotments.”

    Do you mean there is doubling charging?

  4. Peter Stewart
    February 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    What about the cut in Central Government Grant to Eastleigh imposed by Cameron’s coalition? Is this around £850,000? Surely it must impact on our Council Tax?

    • Anne Romaine
      March 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      I think if EBC sets a 0% increase the Government will pat them on the head and give them some money back (£250k?)

  5. Anne Winstanley
    March 1, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Those are pretty scary increases. With one of the smaller rises of £37 pa in Bishopstoke I’d expect quite a few annoyed responses from residents in my area when the CT bills go out just as we start canvassing. Trouble is I KNOW the CT change in Bishopstoke is a slight decrease in the Borough & Parish precepts so the figures quoted need a closer look. The overall totals quoted for 2011-12 for basic EBC precept + special expenses + Parish precepts are just as quoted in the Budget report last Thursday
    http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/meetings/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4344&T=10
    paragraph (h)
    so the figures quoted for last year need a closer look. I don’t know where Steven Slominski found the figures he quotes for 2010-11 but the best place is the corresponding budget report from last year, which is still on EBC’s website.
    http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/meetings/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4100&T=10
    paragraph (h) again.
    Using those figures you get a rather different table to that Steven has based his article on.

    You’ve now got an average increase of 2p! The largest increase in under £1 and in several areas there is a decrease. Basically along the lines of statements made by Keith House in the press. Hamble residents will have a total increase of 1p – not £105.
    It looks to me that Steven has quoted figures for 2010-11 of total EBC precept only – EBC basic plus special expenses but left out the Parish precept so the increase he is quoting is the TOTAL parish precept for next year, rather than just the increase. You need to compare an apple, orange & banana with an apple, orange & banana – not an apple & orange with an apple, orange & banana.

    In the interests of journalistic accuracy, I expect to see the table in the original article updated with the correct figures. But in that case this becomes a non-story!

    Also I Brian Norgate is repeating his misunderstanding from the budget meeting about ELAC becoming like a Parish Council for decisions on the areas in Special Expenses that are done by Parish Councils elsewhere in the Borough. This was corrected by Keith House in his budget speech response last Thursday. It only meant that it would be only the ELAC Borough councillors making decisions on these areas, rather than Cabinet, as it would only affect their area. Nothing about this funding no longer having the limitations on increases that applies to all EBC precepting.

    Anne Winstanley
    Deputy Leader Eastleigh Borough Council

    • Stephen Slominski
      March 2, 2011 at 1:16 am

      That’s a good question – where did I get my info from?
      OK. I give up. You win. At least we can all agree that Council Tax has reduced by an average of 2p not 77p.
      The last thing I would want to see are Lib Dem councillors having to explain themselves to voters on the doorstep so I tidied up and re-formatted the table in your comment so the info you have posted is clearer – (tables don’t export to wordpress v easily)
      Councillor Norgate’s ‘misunderstanding’ on the parished status of ELAC is one I share.
      It springs from a scepticism of pre-election Liberal Democrat pledges .
      We now have Mr House saying we misunderstood him when he clearly said that the introduction of a first charge on Parking Permits was ‘total nonsense made up by Labour.’

  6. p wall
    March 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I really do not understand how anyone can claim that parish council tax in the Allbrook area will increase when the parish council, which I chair, has voted for ‘no change’in our local tax.

  7. Anne Romaine
    March 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I guess this just goes to prove there are lies, damn lies, and statistics!

  8. March 2, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Good to see spin is alive and well with our local Lib dems as ever..

    ‘they don’t like it up’em..’

    Well done Steve. Great copy.!!

  9. March 2, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Cllr Winstandly comments make me giggle..

    Anne Winstanley on March 1, 2011 at 7:21 am

    ‘Those are pretty scary increases. With one of the smaller rises of £37 pa in Bishopstoke I’d expect quite a few annoyed responses from residents in my area when the CT bills go out just as we start canvassing.’

    Like this councillor really cares what local residents think..!! I cannot recall a single LOCAL issue supported by this councillor regarding any concerns her residents have against LOCAL Lib Dem policy…!! As for her attack on Eastleigh News, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    As for Peter Wall’s comments, well let’s just see the looks on his wards residents when they open their poll tax demand this year. Perhaps then he will go from house to house telling people that the their POLL TAX is frozen and has NOT gone up.. They must be reading the figures wrong.!!

    Hmmmm, me thinks not.!!

    Come on Peter, even you know this year’s bill is higher than last years and who sets the figure..??? Please don’t treat us like fools.

  10. March 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Just to clarify the allotment issue – the answer is EBC claimed £5.15p for every property
    in eastleigh(house,flat or caravan) and that totaled £178K, the allotment holders still paid by the rod and the income was £16k per year.

    now the parish and town councils have taken over the allotments EBC still claim £110k per
    year according to the EBC budget book. the devolved budget is to the parishes and the
    allotment holders still pay for each rod.

    over the last four years through committee i have tried to get the EBC budget book simplified as most councillors never see it and dont under stand it.

    i complained to Price Waterhouse Coopers as EBC
    hid a loss of up to 600k over Wildern Mill without it being in the budget book, PWC were EBCs auditors and ordered EBC to amend the budget book showing the true figures and the total losses of The Wildern Mill high Court Legal action brought about by Keith House which was lost at every stage during the legal process.

    its a shame Councillor Winstanley deputy Cabinet didnt give us a quote on the abuse of the exempt business which the libs have profited from whilst turning a blind eye to the constitution of EBC.

  11. Graham Hunter
    March 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Bottom line is, when those dreaded white & Green envelopes arrive on our doormats in the next few days the COuncil Tax Bill WILL be increased… NOT by penny’s BUT by POUNDS.
    Parish preciept will be up (Uncapped) for those Parishes EBC has offloaded services to. And of course there will be those mysterious One off charges that know one wants to expalain!

    Stop trying to pullthe wool over our eyes Mssrs House, Winstanley, Wall etc we the residents are not blind!

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