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0 votes
The council is considering extending services provided (some are because the service currently provided by Borough are not good enough. Extending services will increase the precept, by implementing new supplier contracts and/or increasing the number of staff.

Does the council need to run a consultation before increasing the precept ?

by (320 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
It all depends on whether the taking on of these "services" are A) within the PC's powers to do so B) Done with the agreement of the Local authority to whom they fall at the moment.

If it is with that agreement then providing the PC can meet the LA requirements it would I think follow that the LA would meet the costs to the PC and not from the precept

If it is under A) then depending on the costs involved which will of course be included in the budget ( which should be presented to the community) and thereby the precept there should I feel be a highlighting of intention and cost implications in a consultation as to whether the community support the taking on of such proposed services.

But of course with the deadline for precept presentation looming on the horizon you may have missed the boat for this coming year
by (27.0k points)
+1 vote
In purely legislative terms, there is no requirement to consult before increasing the precept. That's not intended as a contradiction of Mentorman's comments, which reflect good practice.
by (53.3k points)
Thanks Dave and agree with the legislative note but if you think about it essentially EVERY PC in fact holds a consultation on precept by presenting their budgets for annual approval and essentially seek consultation with their communities on the amounts. Where the system falls down is of course with community lethargy. I always suddenly remember the Hitchiker's Guide to The Galaxy when people complained  that they "didn't know "when the Vogon Constructor fleet arrive to remove Earth to make way for the Hyperspace Byepass. Well worth a read.
"...presenting their budgets for annual approval..."? When and how?
Goodness me Dave are you saying that PC's do not publish their budget proposals for public scrutiny and  comment prior to their adoption and subsequent precept bid? I am astounded!! :D
It's an agenda item like any other. Three days notice. Brief discussion. Vote. Members of the public could attend the meeting and speak during the public forum before the start of the meeting, but I don't recall anybody ever doing so. I did three last week and we saw 4 members of the public at one, but nobody at the other two. Two of the three increased precept by around 25%
Earthlings " But we weren't informed of this"
Vogon Commander" The papers were on display in the office in Alpha Centauri only a few light years away. It's your own fault for not paying attention to local affairs. I've no sympathy" BOOM!

That's quite enough fun for me for one year-Mentorman
0 votes
Thanks to all. Definitely should be good practice to consult. Potentially we would be increasing the work force by 1.5 taking it to 4.5 for a parish of 2200 properties. In order to keep additional staff fully employed (key additional services would not do so)., looking at issuing parking tickets as a new service.

The issue we have with engaging with the public is a lot of the time documentation  relating to the agenda items is not published on the website. When I raised this as an issue I was advised that we did not have a policy to publish the documents on the website, this results in the clerk publishing what he wants. I would have thought that all papers should be published unless confidential
by (320 points)
Your council should have adopted the ICO model publication scheme, which lists documents to be published, including "reports presented to council meetings." You would need to have a justifiable reason for not publishing such information under the scheme.

I'm puzzled by your reference to "issuing parking tickets as a new service."
As upper tier Councils are capped and Parishes aren’t it’s quite easy to transfer the burden to the Parish and cover it with huge rises to the precept as residents very rarely protest

I know of a Parish that increased its precept by mistake no one noticed until the Council Tax demands were issued and no one complained, the next year they froze the precept and claimed it was triumph of budgeting
Will raise as an agenda item regarding adopting ICO and reviewing our current strategy.. For clarification we have parking issues at certain time year, thinking of issuing tickets ourselves.
Parking enforcement is a legal minefield. Be sure to take appropriate advice.

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