We must thank the court of Queen Elizabeth I for the fact that we now pay council tax. In 1601, the Poor Relief Act became law which meant everyone who had income or property had to contribute regularly to looking after ‘the poor’. Remarkably, the principles set out in that legislation still form the basis of the system used now.
There have been many tweaks over the centuries, mainly about how each person’s liability is reckoned, so today, it depends largely on the size of your house, not on how many people are living within it.
A few weeks after Christmas, parish councils had to submit their budget plans to Harborough District Council, so that the level of council taxes for the next financial year could be worked out. Kibworth Beauchamp Parish Council decided on an increase, but it is unlikely you will notice the difference in what you pay.
From April, Kibworth Beauchamp residents will pay 2% more to the parish council which means a family in an average-sized home will pay an extra 80p over the year. This will help us to support the youth club at the Village Hall, which depends entirely on our funding. It will also help the Joint Recreation Committee to maintain our recreation grounds and play areas, and the Joint Burials Committee to look after the cemetery.
By law, we must publish details of our expenditure. Every item is listed on our website with information about how much we hold in our reserves, the VAT we can reclaim, and the assets we hold on behalf of residents. Our figures and calculations are scrutinised twice at the end of the year, by a local auditor of our choice, and an external auditor appointed by the Government; and later in the year we must publish their reports.
If you want to find out more about how the Kibworth parish councils spend your money, please join us at any of our meetings. It is at these monthly meetings that all expenditure is approved, all decisions are taken, and you can have your say.
Parish Clerk, KBPC