The Council voted at their November 2015 meeting  to increase the precept by 13.9% for 2016-17, over that for 2015-16. For historical reference, the precept over recent years has been:

DPC precept 2011-12 was £12,000
DPC precept 2012-13 was £15,000 – increase over 11-12 25.0%
DPC precept 2013-14 was £20,000 – increase over 12-13 33.3%
DPC precept 2014-15 was £25,000 – increase over 13-14 25.0%
DPC precept 2015-16 set at £34,250 – increase over 14-15 27.0%
DPC precept 2016-17 set at £39,000 – increase over 15-16 13.9%

Previous to 2011-12, the precept had been held at £12,000 for 4 years.

The Council considered the precept in two parts in respect of 2016-17, as follows:

  • That required to support the main budget and to maintain the status quo; and
  • That required to support the Hollow Hill footpath scheme.

To maintain the status quo  To deliver the budget, being a continuation of existing strategy the Council agreed that the core precept including community engagement be increased from the current level of £27,750 to £31,632.

To support the Hollow Hill footpath scheme. To support this scheme and in the event that DPC will need to make a direct contribution to costs the Council agreed an additional levy on the 2016-17 precept be made in the sum of £7,500 (on the expectation of 50% match funding) and that the balance be levied on the 2017-18 precept. It was further agreed that the funds raised by this additional levy be ring fenced and may not be used for any other purpose. In the event that these funds are not required (eg the scheme is not commissioned, or that funding is met by alternative sources) this funding will used to reduce the core precept in 2017-18.

Recognising that these matters may be overly ‘precise’, the Council agreed that the final precept be £39,000 (rounded from that calculated downwards from £39,132).

Cost per Household
Overall in cash terms, and recognising the increased number of dwellings the 16-17 precept has increased by 13.9% over 15-16.

The precept for 15-16 at £34,250 equated to an average of £45.67 per household (£0.88 per week). This included a one-off to strengthen financial reserves. [The equivalent calculation without the one-off adjustment equates to £37.00 per household].

In order to calculate the precept for 16-17 we have: removed the one-off reserves adjustment, adjusted for inflation (RPI), and recognised that the approximated number of dwellings has increased from some 750 to 830 (mainly as a result of completion of the Maltings development).

However, when considered on a cost per household basis the proposed core precept on this basis equates to an average of £38.11 per household (£0.73 per week), in effect a reduction of 17%. Should the Council support the creation of a 50/50 match funding reserve in respect of the Hollow Hill footpath, the full precept will increase to £47.15 per household (£0.91 per week, an increase of 3% over the 15-16 level.

Clearly averages must be explained, the tax base on which the actual precept is calculated makes allowance for varying reliefs (e.g. for the least able to pay and empty properties) and for adjustments between Council tax bands… the effect being that the increase for properties in band A will be less and in band H more.

Precept Papers 2016-17
Precept Paper 2016-17
Financial Reserves and Balances Policy 2015-16

Precept Papers 2015-16
Precept Paper 2015-16
Reserves Policy Paper 2015-16

Precept Papers 2014-15
Precept Paper 2014-15

Precept Papers 2013-14
Precept Paper 2013-14
Precept Paper

Precept Papers 2012-13
Precept Paper 2012-13

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