Why council tax bills are higher in Thornbury than Alveston

A TYPICAL council tax bill in Thornbury area will rise by just under £107 in April.

When increases in the charges levied by South Gloucestershire Council, the town council, the police and fire services are added up, a Band D homeowner living within the area covered by Thornbury Town Council is set to pay an extra £106.87 or 4.74% this year, with their total bill now £2,360.10.

South Gloucestershire Council agreed a 4.99% increase – the maximum allowed without calling a referendum – at its meeting in February, to take its charge to residents with homes in the average Band D tax bracket up by £86.39, from £1,727.98 to £1,814.37.

Councillors also voted to bring in a series of charges, including for parking at council-run car parks, which will raise an estimated £1.5 million every year, and a doubling of green bin charges from £30 to £60.

The rest of the increase in council tax bills comes from other public bodies.

£279 bill for police – £85 for fire service

Avon & Somerset’s police and crime commissioner Mark Shelford is raising charges for a Band D tax payer by £13 (4.88%) from £266.20 to £279.20.

Avon Fire Authority is expected to raise its annual charge by £2.48 or 2.99% to £85.43 in Band D.

However the final amount paid by people living in different neighbourhoods varies according to the services provided by their parish councils, reflected in the precept charge, and ‘special expenses’ charged by South Gloucestershire Council for neighbourhood facilities it maintains.

Town and parish councils are not subject to government restrictions on how much they can raise charges without calling a referendum.

Bigger town council budget means Thornbury bills are highest

Thornbury has the highest charges for both precept and special expenses, with the result that the overall council tax bill in the town is higher than in surrounding parishes as it includes £160.48 in precept charges and £20.62 special expenses.

The town council’s precept budget has risen by 3.62%, from £898,894 to £931,436, and as the number of homes paying council tax has increased with new developments, the £4.26 increase in the precept charge represents a 2.72% rise.

The lowest Band D charge in the area is for Hill – the £2,188.43 total bill (up £101.68 or 4.87%) includes a precept of just £9.43 to fund the parish meeting and no special expenses.

Increase higher in Alveston – but overall bill is lower

In Alveston the Band D precept charge has risen by £14.68 and special expenses by 22p, to contribute to an overall increase of £116.77 or 5.48% in the bill, which stands at £2,245.84 overall.

Alveston is one of several parishes where combined precept and special expenses increases have made residents’ bills rise by more than the headline 4.99% for South Gloucestershire.

In Olveston a £6.04 precept rise and 29p special expenses rise mean the overall rise is £108.20 or 5%, and in Tytherington the £13.78 precept rise and 55p extra in special expenses contribute to a total Band D bill increase of £116.20 or 5.34%.

In Almondsbury the overall rise is 4.77% (a £1.65 precept and £1.04 special expenses increase in Band D), with increases of 4.89% in Aust, 5.17% in Falfield, 4.89% in Rockhampton and 5.27% in Oldbury-on-Severn.